Senior Care Focus

The Five Most Important Things New Medicare Beneficiaries Should Know

“Too often when seniors reach the age of 65 and become eligible to enroll in Medicare they don’t take the time to fully understand the program and the benefits it offers,” says Mr. John E. Kasarda, Administrator of Little Brook Nursing Home in Califon, NJ. Unfortunately, many don’t ask enough questions before enrolling in Medicare. Then they are suddenly faced with enrollment time and don’t know what to do. Here are the five most important things a new Medicare Beneficiary should know:

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Senior Care Focus

Leaving Hospital, Going to a Skilled Nursing Home: What to Expect

Admitting yourself or someone you love to a skilled nursing home for rehabilitation or long-term care is something that we may have to do and not what we may want to do. As we age, the risk increases for a health accident even if we are careful and healthy. “Unfortunately, not all of the care we will need can be provided in a hospital or at a rehab specialty center. Some of us will need to go to a skilled nursing home,” says Mr. John E. Kasarda, Administrator of Little Brook Nursing Home in Califon, NJ.

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Senior Care Focus

8 Ways to Make Your Home Elder-Friendly

If you are selling your home over the next 10 years or just planning to live in it during your golden years you need to know about a huge trend—many ageing baby-boomers are retiring! What does that mean, you ask? Well, is your home outfitted for yourself or a senior buyer? Are appliances and things we take for granted safe, easy to access, load or turn on? “There are at least eight things you can do to make your home more elder-friendly,” agrees Mr. John E. Kasarda, Administrator, Little Brook Nursing Home in Califon, NJ:

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Senior Care Focus

The “Six Cares” in a Senior’s World

There are essentially “six kinds of care” that senior citizens minimally should receive whether at home, in hospital or in a nursing home. When in-depth, comprehensive care is well-provided, it contributes to a senior’s dignity, happiness and quality of life—physical and psychological. This is particularly important for those seniors in nursing homes where care given by the staff, and not sparkling chandeliers hanging in the entrance foyer or synthetically perfumed air, is what should be provided. The acronym C A L A S H, which helps us to remember the six kinds of care that protect and enhance a senior’s life, includes “C” for Clean, “A” for Active, “L” for Loved, “A” for Assisted, “S” for Safe, and “H” for Healthfulness. “If your loved one isn’t receiving all these kinds of care, you should speak to the administrator of the nursing home first and tell him or her about the CALASH of Cares that you expect. Then, if unresolved, you should consider a change,” says Mr. John E. Kasarda, Administrator, Little Brook Nursing Home in Califon, NJ. Below are definitions of each kind of care in the CALASH of Cares. Print list out at: www.littlebrooknursinghome.com/services-and-rates/calash-checklist/

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Senior Care Focus

Respite Care Offers a Break to Family Caregivers

“Everyone needs a break every once in a while, even family caregivers,” says John E. Kasarda, Administrator of Little Brook Nursing Home in Califon, NJ. Some seniors are cared for in their, their family’s or their caregiver’s home. This care is a full-time devotion. But, sometimes caregivers either need a rest to regain their strength and collect themselves or must attend to a personal or business matter away from home. In these kinds of situations some nursing homes offer short-stay or respite care services (usually from 7 to 90 days) which insure safe oversight and high-skilled nursing care for your loved one while you are away. Also, some nursing homes may offer respite stays when one has had surgery and needs high-skilled care around-the-clock to help them recover, get back on their feet and return home.

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Senior Care Focus

3 Reasons to Change Your Nursing Home

Very often in life, we must do things that we would rather not do, such as helping a loved one move to another nursing home. However, it may be the most caring thing to do when their current nursing home is unable to provide them with the best care and comfort that they need. Your loved one ought to feel safer and happier in a new setting. Also, in this setting they should be able to interact with people of their own age and spend their golden years with dignity and in relative peace. ”When additional and special care is needed, a new skilled nursing home should be chosen with the utmost care and due diligence,” says John E. Kasarda, Administrator at Little Brook Nursing Home in Califon, NJ (Hunterdon County). There are minimally three reasons why you might consider changing to another skilled nursing home. They include:

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Senior Care Focus

Put Down a Security Deposit? Never, Ever Do That!

BEWARE if Asked to Hand Over Your Wealth

If your loved one is asked to commit everything to “Age in Place,” DON’T !!! “Don’t ever, ever liquidate and commit their entire estate (i.e., their stocks, bonds, properties, jewelry, car, etc.) to any senior care facility,” says John E. Kasarda, Administrator of Little Brook Nursing and Convalescent Home in Califon, NJ. Although it may seem enticing to “Age in Place,” that is, to continue living your life through a progression of residences on the same site, one never knows what fate has in store. What if your loved one becomes unhappy or is not receiving the quality care they require and wants or needs to move? What if their facility has to close down due to a catastrophe like a Hurricane Sandy event? Being tied down to one facility could become more of a hindrance than a convenience. So, if the senior care facility’s management is asking that your loved one commit their entire wealth, be very leery and don’t sign any documents until you’ve discussed this with your family and attorney. Not only will you and your loved one commit yourselves to this situation, but because the finances are encumbered so too will your loved one’s lifestyle options be restricted.

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Senior Care Focus

Considering a Move? Two Criteria for Evaluating Nursing Homes

When it comes to evaluating licensed skilled nursing homes there may appear to be many resources. “However,” says John E. Kasarda, Administrator, Little Brook Nursing Home, “the best, most credible and reliable sources for evaluating a skilled nursing home are not television referral services, government scoring systems, or internet review sites. The first criterion is the personal recommendations of references whose loved ones have been cared for by the skilled nursing home you are considering. Those personal recommendations can be from the resident, her family, doctor or parishioner. The second criterion for evaluating a skilled nursing home is on-site visits —some planned, others by surprise—where you can meet the staff who will care for your loved one. You can see, hear and smell the environment in which your loved one will live, as well as meet residents and speak with their visitors and ask their opinion about the home.”

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Senior Care Focus

3 Signs It’s Time to Leave Your Assisted-Living

Be aware that “Assisted-Livings” — from multi-bedroom houses to 50+ apartment residences — serve the needs of able seniors to a limit. Thereafter, some seniors may need more help with their daily activities that Assisted-Livings are unable, not willing, ill-equipped or just not licensed to provide. And while some Assisted-Livings may “offer” the services of their “assistants” or “aides” for an extra cost, or offer to place your loved one with Alzheimer’s in a “dementia unit” or in a “higher level of care,” the new, increasing fees may approach and even exceed those of a Licensed Skilled Nursing Home for services that are not certified as effective, safe, skilled and comprehensive. Additionally, Assisted-Livings “aides” are Home Health Aides, whereas Licensed Skilled Nursing Homes are required to use “Certified Nursing Assistants or CNAs” who are trained and certified to provide effective, safe, skilled and comprehensive care. Also, Assisted-Livings “dementia units” may not be licensed or qualified to provide safe, stimulating and memory-appropriate care to residents with Alzheimer’s. Unlike Assisted-Livings, for example, Licensed Skilled Nursing Homes use fall monitors for residents with a high risk of falling. If your loved one starts falling down often, it’s a sign that she should be moved to a Licensed Skilled Nursing Home before she has a serious injury.

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Senior Care Focus

Making Sure Your Loved One is Eating Right

­­­The elderly, who are the fastest growing segment of the US population, may have a very difficult time getting all the nutrients required for a balanced diet. If you take care of a senior person, parent or grandparent there are plenty of steps you can take to help them get adequate nutrition as they get older. Getting the proper nutrition is important for people of all ages but eating right often becomes difficult for seniors. Malnutrition often presents itself as weight loss, disorientation, and/ or lightheadedness and is often times mistaken for illness or disease.

The best way to find out why your loved one is not eating well is to pay more attention to their daily eating habits and ask them questions. Be encouraging of honesty and openness and reassure them that they are not a burden to you or anyone else in your family. Remind them that they are important to you and that you are there to take care of them.

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Senior Care Focus

Where to Get Help for Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s Disease spares no one, not even the best and brightest and it affects both men and women as early as in their 60′s. Without some sort of care, life would be overwhelming for the family of the one suffering from this disease. Fortunately, the health care provider industry has begun training some of its caregivers to care for those with Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia and to provide a support system for family members.

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Senior Care Focus

Senior Mobility: How to Purchase a Scooter for an Elderly Person

Purchasing a scooter is a big decision: One, which you will much appreciate when the process is completed. So let’s learn a bit more about buying a scooter for an elderly friend, loved one or your parent. Purchasing a scooter will involve determining the weight of the scooter, the ease in folding or taking the scooter apart, and the ease in handling and riding.

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Senior Care Focus

Attention: Disaster Preparedness for Senior Citizens

Senior citizens can protect themselves and cope with disasters by planning ahead. Knowing what to do is your best protection. First of all, it is a good idea to know which kinds of disasters are most common in your particular area. Preparing for a disaster that is likely to happen in your area will help you prepare for any disaster. Here in Hunterdon County, we are prone to severe weather storms, such as snow storms and thunderstorms. Having a Storm Survival Plan is absolutely necessary. Even if you have physical limitation, you can still protect yourself by having a plan.

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Senior Care Focus

Medicare D Doesn’t Have to be Confusing

As of January 1, 2006, the federal government expanded Medicare coverage with the launch of the Medicare Part D program. This program enables seniors to get prescriptions with the benefit of an insurance program that can help lessen annual drug costs. To take advantage of the program, however, Medicare recipients have to navigate a system that may seem confusing. To understand how the new Medicare program works, it is important to understand a few basic facts.

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Senior Care Focus

Be Prepared and Plan Ahead for Important Health Care Decisions

You think you are organized? You think you are prepared? Do you think your parents are organized? Do you think your parents are prepared? Prepared and organized for what you ask? For future events beyond your control, when your elderly parent becomes ill, there will be important health care decisions that inevitably will have to be made. The best way to avoid a problem is to prepare for it.

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Senior Care Focus

Thinking About a Nursing Home

When to Consider a Nursing Home and What to Ask

Nursing homes are not always thought of positively because of the bad press they often get. But not all nursing homes are filled with neglect and abuse. In fact, many are staffed with loving and kind caregivers that will help the elderly spend their twilight years happily. If you’re thinking about putting a loved one into a nursing home, your best bet is to do research on all the places you’re considering and ask around for recommendations from your friends, relatives, church parishioners, and doctors.

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Senior Care Focus

Social Security Provides for Medicare

The United States Social Security Administration (SSA) administers numerous social insurance programs.

One of these is the Medicare Benefits. Medicare provides health insurance programs for:

a. People 65 years and above;
b. People below 65 years but with disabilities for not less than two years; and
c. People, regardless of age, suffering from End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure which requires dialysis and/or kidney transplant)

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Senior Care Focus

Long-Term Care Insurance Offers More Choices

The cost of medical care in the US is rising and showing no sign of slowing

It’s no surprise that the price of healthcare in America is rising, and quickly. Since 1995, the cost of medical care in the U.S. has risen over 40% and is showing no sign of slowing down. That kind of sticker-shock can be difficult to comprehend, even for those with solid retirement plans. It’s a trend that some insurers are trying to abate.

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