Know Your Options: the Tennessee CHOICES Program and Senior Home Care

If you’re looking for senior home care, home health care, or assisted living in Chattanooga TN, then the Tennessee CHOICES Program may help cover the cost of your expenses. But like most aspects of the American health care system, understanding and penetrating the bureaucracy can be difficult, especially if you’re already stressed about aging parents.

Among Americans with aging parents, 30% say their parents need help managing their affairs. In part, that’s because two out of three Americans over 65 suffer from multiple, chronic health conditions. By 2010, seniors were already spending an average of $18,424 every year on health care, three times more than the average adult. And with the number of Americans over 65 expected to double to more than 72 million in the next 25 years, a number of programs are available to help aging Americans afford vital resources.

That’s why Tennessee residents over 21 with a physical disability and seniors over 65 have access to Tennessee’s CHOICES program. And because almost 90% of seniors want to stay in their homes, CHOICES also helps pay for senior home care. With home care, older Americans can age in place with the help of regular, non-medical companionship services.
So what kind of home care services are covered by the CHOICES program? Here’s a brief list of some of the services that are often covered under CHOICES:

  • Personal Care Visits: visits of up to four hours in which seniors can receive help with bathing, getting dressed, fixing meals, and other necessities around the house.
  • Minor home modifications
  • In-home Respite Care: Have someone visit to relieve a full-time caregiver or family member.
  • Pest Control
  • Assistive Technology: helping seniors live more safely in their own home.
  • Adult Day Care: Arranging supervised activities during the day.

Plus, the best Chattanooga senior home care services can provide help with scheduling appointments, picking up prescriptions, transportation, and more. Seniors with Medicaid may well be eligible for some or all of these services through a qualified home care service provider. Medicaid and the CHOICES program can help cover some or all of the costs, making life easier for seniors, adult caregivers, and everyone who loves them.

New Program Gives U.S. Seniors High-Speed Internet for $10 a Month

Comcast recently announced the launch of two pilot programs to help provide high-speed Internet access to U.S. seniors. Comcast Senior Executive Vice President David L Cohen visited the Lady Shaw Senior Care Center in San Francisco to announce the extension of a pre-existing program that provides low-income Americans with high-speed Internet access for just $10 a month.

Previously, the cable company announced their new “Internet Essentials” program, which provides fast Internet access for just $9.95 a month to families with one or more children in a free lunch program at school. So far, an estimated 2 million people (500,000 families) have taken advantage of the service. The deal also includes a free modem, Wi-Fi router, and digital literacy training. Furthermore, there’s no contract, credit check, or installation fees for qualifying families. Now, Comcast wants to allow seniors to access the program as well. In addition to the San Francisco pilot program, Comcast is also testing the initiative in Palm Beach, Florida.

About 90% of aging Americans say they want to “age in place,” meaning they hope to remain in their own home as long as possible. But unfortunately, three out of 10 adult children say their aging parents need help taking care of themselves. And because seniors will make up 20% of the U.S. population by 2030, millions of older Americans could soon require senior home care services. Plus, the Pew Research Center reports that only 47% of Americans ages 65 and older currently have high-speed Internet access, and the numbers drop in lower income brackets.

That means programs like this could potentially help millions more Americans age in place more successfully. And for seniors who do move into assisted living communities, widely available Internet access could help keep them connected with friends and family. Senior home care workers already help older Americans manage their affairs and keep in touch with their loved ones, and Internet access could help them provide a higher level of care. In the meantime, you can contact senior home care providers in your area if you want to help an aging loved one get online.

How To Help Aging Parents Age In Place Comfortably

They say it takes a village to raise a child, but caring for aging parents can often be an incredibly lonely experience. And until your friends experience it for themselves, they’ll have no idea how stressful it is acting as an adult caregiver, especially to your own aging parents. If you’re suffering from stress and anxiety helping an older loved one take care of themselves, then no matter how much it might feel that way, you aren’t alone. About 88% of adult children worry about their parents growing older, and three-in-ten say their parents require some form of elder care or assistance.

While adult children worry about their parents’ ability to take care of themselves, an overwhelming majority of seniors worry about leaving their home for a retirement home. About 90% of U.S. seniors want to continue living at home as they grow old, sometimes called “aging in place.” And while many seniors can continue living safely at home, others cannot. And because of Americans’ independent, bootstrap ethos, many people refuse to accept help, or even ask for it in the first place.

If you’re looking for tips to help aging parents age in place, here are some things you can do to make life easier on both you and your loved ones:

  • Universal Design

Because of longer life spans and aging baby boomers, demographers estimate that the population of Americans over 65 will double in the next 25 years. That’s why “Universal Design” is the latest trend in home design and architecture. Universal design is the practice of building or remodeling a home to make it more accessible. Popular features include wheelchair accessible showers, wider doors, open floor plans, ramps, and more. And since one in three U.S. citizens over the age of 65 will slip and fall this year, universal design can make aging in place both more comfortable and more safe.

  • Elder Care, Home Care, And Companionship

In addition to medical in-home care tailored to specific medical needs, there are non-medical options for elder care. Home care services provide companionship and caregiver services, like bathing, dressing, cooking, shopping, and entertainment assistance. Home care and senior care services can make sure medication is taken on time and prescriptions are refilled.

  • Community Resources

As the American population ages, there are more resources than ever for both older Americans and adult caregivers. Find out what kind of nonprofits and organizations exist in your community. You might be surprised by how many helpful resources are available to you and your loved ones. Plus, many cities have support groups for adult caregivers who need emotional support.

Finally, never make assumptions about a loved one’s quality of life. Home conditions can change rapidly, especially after a change in health or the passing of a spouse. Choose a time to check in with your relative regularly, and reassess your elder care plan once or twice a year. And if you can’t find the time to check on your relative, and you can’t find anyone else to help either, then aging at home might not be the best option. However, with the help of local resources and elder care services, aging in place can drastically improve your loved one’s quality of life.

Living At Home Or Assisted Living In Chattanooga? 5 Things To Consider

This June, nonprofits, assisted living facilities, and government agencies joined together to celebrate Elder Abuse Awareness Month. That’s just one of the unique challenges faced by older Americans, a fast growing demographic.

As Americans age, we know that many of our neighbors struggle with a heartbreaking decision — whether to move a loved one from their familiar home or help them move to assisted living in Chattanooga, TN. Senior care experts know that 87% of seniors want to stay in their home as they age, but too often that independence comes at a high price. Adult children and family members worry about their health and well being, while seniors sometimes struggle with loneliness and depression.

No one can make this decision for your family, but if you’re struggling to choose between assisted living in Chattanooga, TN or living at home, consider this:

  • Be Aware Of Elder Abuse: Elder abuse takes many forms — financial abuse, physical abuse, and neglect. Sadly, senior care experts warn that as many as one in three nursing homes have been cited for abuse. Of course, seniors who live at home are also at risk. Fortunately, there are tons of resources for preventing and reporting elder abuse, so please don’t hesitate to speak up.
  • You Aren’t Alone: Three in ten adult children with aging parents say they worry about whether their parents need help caring for themselves, and only 69% were confident their parents could remain independent.
  • Not Everyone Will Ask For Help: According to the most recent surveys, 87-90% of seniors want to stay in their own homes, sometimes called “aging in place.” But remember: this desire to “age in place” sometimes makes older Americans reluctant to ask family members for the help they need, while others are simply too proud to ask for help finding assisted living. Not everyone feels comfortable admitting they need help. If you feel anxiety about an aging parent, don’t assume they’re doing fine, even if that’s what they tell you.
  • Alternatives To Assisted Living In Chattanooga TN: For many, retirement homes are a welcome change, but they’re not the right choice for everyone. Senior home care services provide companionship and help around the house. If you don’t need full-time medical workers, then home care helps seniors maintain their quality of life while still “aging in place.” Senior home care services help with everything from dressing, bathing and grooming, to handling housework and pet care. They can also help with travel, picking up medications, and regaining a healthy, active lifestyle.
  • Safety First: One in three older Americans will suffer a fall this year, and for people living alone, it can sometimes take days for help to arrive. If you can’t regularly visit with a senior relative, then perhaps it’s time to consider the best assisted living or elder care Chattanooga can provide.

Longer lifespans and aging baby boomers will cause the number of Americans over the age of 65 to double in the next 25 years to 72 million. By 2030, elder care experts say U.S. seniors will make up at least 20% of the population.

That means more families choosing between a comfortable, independent lifestyle and retirement homes. But no family should settle for making a loved one merely comfortable. Whether you choose assisted living or not, your family deserves the best elder care available.