There are a number of studies that show socializing with family and friends can have a positive impact on the health and longevity of seniors. One study performed in 2012 discovered that staying socially engaged was just as important as other healthy living habits when it came to healthy aging. The study involved 100 centenarians and was conducted by UnitedHealthcare.
However, some people don’t like to meet others in person. Thankfully, technology offers a number of solutions. Below are different ways Houston caregiver agencies are staying in touch with technology.
Video Chat/Social Media
Seniors can use social media to stay connected. Sharing thoughts and comments via Twitter and Facebook is a trend that is continuing to grow in the senior community. This is something that should be encouraged.
It’s a good idea to set up a Nucleus intercom system. It’s easy to use and it is a device that is senior-friendly. This device lets people video chat with anyone in the family, if they have their own device or if they have the app. All it takes is pressing one button for an older adult to get in touch with family.
Use Video Games
Using videos games can help seniors keep both their body and mind active. Video games are fun too. This is one of the reasons seniors should play them.
Furthermore, playing video games may improve vision. In one study, it showed that seniors with cataracts reported an improvement in their eyesight after they’ve played Call of Duty and other first-person shooting games. The seniors’ eyes strengthen because of rapid eye movement and because the focus was required. A Houston caregiver should add games to their clients weekly or daily routine.
Use Apps For Tracking Medication
A key aspect of caregiving is allowing seniors to live independently, and part of maintaining independence is taking medications when they’re supposed to be taken. Caregivers should consider using an app that can help seniors track medications. Seniors will love using such an app.
However, finding the right app isn’t that easy. This is because there are so many other there. The good news is this task doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Over 270 medication tracking apps were looked at by the University of Sydney. They narrow down their list.
Medisafe Pill Reminder & Medication Tracker made the list. So did Alar Meds. The other two that made it to the top included MedicineList+ and My Heart My Life.
Are you a Houston caregiver and are you thinking of using technology because if you are, then consider some of the technology discussed above. Maybe you’re already using technology. If you are, then what are you using and what do you recommend using because we would love to know more about them.
On average, the cost of assisted living in Texas stood at $3,515 per month as of 2016. This falls slightly under the national average of $3,600 per month. San Antonio, Austin, Amarillo, Odessa, and Victoria are the areas with the most expensive assisted living in Texas, whose monthly costs ranged between $4,000 and $4,600. El Paso, Corpus Christi, Texarkana and Houston senior in home care were the areas with the most affordable assisted living, with costs ranging from $2,000 to $2,350 a month. Alzheimer’s residential care, also known as Memory care, typically adds up to $1,200 to the total monthly cost of assisted living.
With home care, the average rate per hour all across Texas stands at $19. The areas with the most affordable home care include Waco, Brownsville, McAllen, and Laredo, where the hourly cost ranges from $15 to $16.50. The most expensive areas include Wichita Falls, Austin/Round Rock, Odessa, and Midland where the hourly cost ranges between $20.50 and $25. For those who need a higher level of care, home health care is also available, and typically adds about $0.50 to $1 an hour to the normal rates.
Texas enjoys some of the least expensive daily rate averages for adult day care nationwide. The average daily cost still stands at $35, and this hasn’t changed for the last two years. The most expensive areas for adult day care in Texas include Dallas, Austin, Midland, and Houston, where the cost ranges from $60 to $68 per day.
This is not bad considering the national average for adult day care is $68 per day, meaning that even in the higher end, it’s possible to find great places below this average. McAllen, Laredo, Beaumont, Abilene, and Brownsville offer the most affordable adult day care, with prices ranging from $25 to $31 a day.
Financial Assistance Programs in Texas
Medicaid is a health insurance program for disabled and low-income individuals and seniors. Originally offered as institutional and personal limited care, Medicaid waivers are now being offered by the state, which is also referred to as Home and Community-Based Services Waiver (HCBS). This program allows individuals to receive any Medicaid care as needed, but outside of the nursing home premises, such as in their community or homes. Texas made some sweeping changes with the Medicaid Care programs for seniors in 2015. In the last few years, the STAR Plus Waiver was being rolled out county by county, and it is available statewide. This program essentially provides a whole range of services for seniors, which are meant to help them live in assisted living communities or stay in their homes. This program also provides medical and non-medical care, which is provided through the various managed care organizations. The nationwide rollout of STAR Plus has allowed for the change of 3 Texas Medicaid programs. These are the Primary Home Care Program (PHC), Community Based Alternatives Waiver (CBA), as well as the Day Activity and Health Services (DAHS). These services were previously offered via the CBA program, but they are now available via the STAR Plus HCBS waiver. The services offered by the DAHS and the PHC are now provided via the STAR Plus Medicaid plan of the state.
This year also saw the launch of the new Medicaid entitlement program, which is known as the Community First Choice. One of the major difference between this program and the STAR Plus is the fact that there are no waiting lists when it comes to the provision of services. This program also comes with benefits such as personal emergency response systems, assistance with daily living activities, and health maintenance.
In order to qualify for the Medicaid program in Texas, you need to prove you have limited financial resources. As of 2016, for individual monthly income shouldn’t exceed the $2,199 per month limit and for couples, it shouldn’t exceed $4,398 a month. The asset limit under this program is $2,000 for individuals and a $3,000 limit for couples. Nonetheless, some of the Medicaid programs extend these limits to accommodate amounts of $5,000 for individual and $6,000 for couples. One’s vehicle and home are not included in the calculation of assets value.
People with assets and income that exceed these limits may still be eligible for the Medicaid program in Texas. A Medicaid planning professional can work with you to find a way to allocate the monthly income in excess of the limit into income trusts. Moreover, the financial assets that exceed the limit may be converted into exempt assets in some cases. If you are an individual near the financial limits, consulting a Medicaid planning professional before applying is highly recommended, to make sure that you have the best chance of being accepted into Medicaid.
State Assisted Programs
In Texas, there are four programs meant to provide assistance to seniors that are not qualified for Medicaid. These programs include:
Community Care for Disabled/Aged (CCAD)
The CCAD program is meant to provide non-medical services and nursing support to individuals who opt to stay at home instead. These services may also be provided in foster homes and assisted living facilities.
In Home and Family Support Grants (IHFS)
IHFS provides the physically disabled individuals with some form of direct financial assistance, which can be used to support independent living, including home modifications, home health aids, as well as durable medical equipment.
Community Attendant Services (CAS)
The CAS program is meant to provide non-medical personal care and attendant services to individuals in their homes. The program has an option for the self-direction of care, which may include some family members and friends who are hired as caregivers.
DADS Services for Assisted Independent Living (SAIL)
The Goal of SAIL is to assist seniors to live independently. It provides the necessary support for home modifications, home based services, home medical equipment, etc.
Assisting Hands Houston is ready to answer your questions regarding in-home elder care and assisted living for your loved one. Please feel free to contact us or call us at 281-540-7400 today!