Reno Gazette-Journal Sunday, September 1, 2019
Confused by the difference between in-home care and home healthcare? Are home healthcare services only available after a hospital stay? Will you lose your independence by accepting help from a home-care aide? What’s covered by Medicare and what’s not? How do you know who to call and for what?
These are just some of the confusions that a panel of experts will address at an upcoming seminar for senior adults and potential caregivers. “The Truth about Home Health & In-home Care” – part of the free ongoing Retired Living Truth Seminar Series – is scheduled for September 12 in Reno.
“Many seniors may think this seminar doesn’t apply to them as they are fit and healthy and will never need these services” said seminar series co-organizer Brett Junell. “Unfortunately, as we age there is a high likelihood that an unforeseen event will occur and either you or a loved one will be in need of assistance,” said Junell. “The purpose of these seminars is to create awareness of the available resources and the questions to ask in advance of a crisis.”
“Come to this 90-minute educational event, and you’ll learn the truth about what services home health and private duty in-home care agencies and organizations provide,” Junell said. “You’ll learn about the costs associated with different types of in-home support available, as well as what services insurance and veterans’ benefits will cover as I interview our expert panelists.”
Two types of care which will be covered by the experts – home healthcare and in-home care – may sound similar but are quite different in their objectives and how they are best used by senior adults.
Home healthcare for seniors is skilled nursing and therapy that is provided as part of a plan of care created and reviewed regularly by a doctor. The patient must have a “skilled need” that requires the skills of a licensed nurse, speech therapist or physical therapist.
For these services to be covered by Medicare, the doctor must certify that the patient is homebound, which is defined as requiring “considerable and taxing effort” to leave home.
Tammy Malley from Kindred at Home, a local home healthcare provider, stressed that a patient does not have to be “bed bound.” to take advantage of these services. However, there are certain criteria that must be met.
“It’s a little tricky,” she said. “I will definitely be clearing that up in the seminar.” She will address this and answer many other questions about home healthcare as one of the panel of experts.
“Care is focused on helping you manage a chronic condition or recover from an acute illness, surgery, accident or a change in medical condition,” Malley said, adding, “A hospital stay is not a requirement of home healthcare. Our goal is to help keep people at home.”
Malley said she is eager to participate in the seminar and educate participants because nationally only 18% of eligible patients are actually using home healthcare services.
“Most people don’t know about this kind of service until they’re in a crisis,” she said. “I think it is important for people to know about these services.”
Ryan Hart, owner of Amada Senior Care Northern Nevada, will answer question related to the services provided by in-home care aides, which is different to nursing care and is focused on helping seniors perform activities of daily living (ADLs).
“We do not send nurses. We send caregivers,” Hart said. “We provide comprehensive, non-medical care to seniors so that they are able to remain in their homes and continue doing the things they love.”
Some of the services home-care aides provide include help with activities of daily living such as meal preparation, light housekeeping, medication reminders, and transportation.
A medical device salesman for 10 years, Hart said he got into the in-home care business after the frustration of finding someone to help his aging parents when both were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
“It was scary. It was overwhelming. It was tough. It was a very, very frightening time for all of us,” Hart said. “Now that I know that countless other families in the area are going through a similar situation, I want to help ensure others better understand available help.”
He said he hopes to dispel some of the confusion and concerns seniors have about allowing home-care providers into their homes. They may be concerned that they will have a loss of independence. Hart said the opposite is true.
“When we go in, many people are afraid that we are taking away their independence by being there, but in fact we are helping them stay independent,” Hart said.
“The Truth about Home Health & In-home Care” seminar will be held on September 12 from 10-11:30 a.m. at the RSAR Building at 5650 Riggins Court, Reno (near Meadowood Mall).
Junell said the goal of the Retired Living Truth Seminar Series is to focus on education and empowerment for seniors. He along with his business partner and wife, Annette Junell, started the seminars three years ago and have hosted 3,260 attendees. The Junell’s are both Certified Senior Housing Professionals who focus on the late-life transition needs of senior adults.
The seminars are free for seniors and their guests. Pre-registration is required because seating is limited.
Reservations can be made online
at www.RetiredLivingTruthSeries.com or by calling (775) 432-6398.
Upcoming seminars in the Retired Living Truth Seminar Series include:
- September 12: The Truth about Home Health & In-home Care
- October 24: The Truth about Paying for Retirement Living
- November 21: The Truth about 55+ Retired Living Options
- December 19: The Truth about Successful Aging
Thank you to the following sponsors who keep the seminar series free for seniors: Amada Senior Care, Cascades of the Sierra Senior Living, EB Homes, Jim Morman of Edward Jones, Debbie Wood of Flagstar Bank, Junell Moves Made Easy, Genetix, Kindred Hospice, MorningStar Senior Living, Brian Wessel of PhysioSpine Reno, Plan Your Story, Promenade on the River, Prominence Health Plan, Sarah Feliz of Put It In Order, Revel Rancharrah and Schulze Law Group.
This article is sponsored by Annette & Brett Junell in conjunction with the above sponsors.