Tag: Advocacy and Education

National Health Care Decisions Day - April 16, 2018

posted by Ted Ryan on April 09, 2018

April 16 marks National Health Care Decisions Day. The day was founded to encourage adults of all ages to discuss future healthcare decisions with family, friends and healthcare providers.

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Summer Heat Safety for St. Louis Seniors

posted by Ted Ryan on June 28, 2017

St. Louis summers bring the heat, which can be particularly dangerous for the elderly population. Aging decreases the body’s ability to adjust to heat and sense temperature extremes, making the elderly more susceptible to heat-related disorders. Luckily, there are ways to help prevent heat-related conditions.Read More…

Checking on Senior Loved Ones Over the Holidays

posted by Ted Ryan on December 21, 2015

For many of us, the holidays are a time to enjoy being with family. This time together can sometimes reveal aspects of an elderly loved one’s condition that are less apparent during brief visits or phone conversations. 

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Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month

posted by Ted Ryan on September 21, 2015

September is Atrial Fibrillation awareness month. Atrial Fibrillation (often referred to as AFib) is the most common type of irregular heartbeat, affecting about 2.7 million people in the US. During AFib, an individual’s steady, normal heartbeat becomes chaotic and often rapid. The condition may lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications.

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Elderly Skin - Beating Sunburn & Monitoring its Harmful Effects

posted by Ted Ryan on June 29, 2015

We know that too much exposure to the sun is harmful (according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, about 90% of non-melanoma skin cancers and 65% of melanomas are associated with exposure to UV radiation from the sun). Skin precautions are especially important for the elderly because the odds of developing skin cancer rise as you age.

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Avoiding the Holiday Blues and Depression Among Seniors

posted by Ted Ryan on December 17, 2014

The song says “tis the season to be jolly” but for some, the holidays can be a sad and lonely time. Days become shorter. Cold weather keeps you cooped up. Winter can be depressing – particularly for seniors, who may find themselves isolated and missing deceased loved ones and merrier times.

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Breast Cancer Awareness – Calculate Your Risk

posted by Ted Ryan on October 28, 2014

As the end of Breast Cancer Awareness Month draws near, we’re sharing two interactive online tools to help determine your risk of developing the disease that effects so many lives.

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Advocacy and Education

Free Family Caregiver Training by Industry Experts

posted by Ted Ryan on October 13, 2014

Family caregivers are the foundation of long-term care and aging in place. More than 65 million people (29% of the US population) spend an average of 20 hours a week caring for a loved one.

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National Stroke Awareness Month - Act FAST

posted by Ted Ryan on May 14, 2014

May is National Stroke Awareness Month. Considering that approximately 795,000 strokes – one every 40 seconds – are expected to occur this year, it’s not surprising that we care for a lot of stroke victims at SHC. Stroke is a leading cause of death and long-term adult disability in the United States.Read More…

Breast Cancer Awareness Month - Fast Facts

posted by Ted Ryan on October 14, 2013

October is breast cancer awareness month. It is particularly important for seniors to be informed because, like all cancers, the risk of breast cancer increases with age.

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Intercepting Senior Fraud – “The Crime of the Century”

posted by Ted Ryan on October 02, 2013

Recently, the reality of senior fraud hit home as I learned that several SHC clients have been receiving an alarming amount of junk mail and telemarketing calls. Luckily, our trained caregivers intercepted the behavior by reporting their concerns before anyone fell victim to a scam.

We’ve all heard that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Here are a few other tips for spotting and reporting scams.

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Diabetes, Bunions and Heel Pain – Be Nice to Your Feet

posted by Ted Ryan on September 24, 2013

As many as 87% of Americans report having had painful feet at some time in their lives. Furthermore, one in three people over the age of 65 has foot pain, stiffness or aching feet.

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Medicare Facts Everyone Should Know, But Too Few Do

posted by Ted Ryan on September 18, 2013

When speaking with individuals inquiring about home care services, the topic of Medicare comes up often. It can be a misleading subject because though Medicare does cover some home health care services, they must meet very specific criteria. For this reason, Medicare enrollees may find themselves paying for services out of their own pocket.

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Incontinence Products – Expert Tips for Finding the Right Fit

posted by Ted Ryan on July 15, 2013

Nearly 25 million American’s are living with incontinence. Yet, many are unaware of the wide variety of products available to assist people of different sizes, conditions and needs. As a home care provider, we at Seniors Home Care know that our goal is to allow seniors to remain active and vibrant in their community. Without proper incontinence products, seniors become ashamed, withdrawn and reclusive. With the right product, incontinence can be managed to fit any lifestyle and preference.

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Fears: Seniors Say Falling is Top of the List

posted by Ted Ryan on May 06, 2013

While recently speaking with a client, she said something that I believe many seniors relate to. She said, “Fear and Falling" are her two primary concerns as she ages.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in three seniors fall each year. Interestingly, studies have linked the fear of falling to an actual increased risk of falling. Fear may lead to limiting activities, reducing mobility and curbing physical fitness, which in turn increases the risk of falling.

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National Health Care Decisions Day

posted by Ted Ryan on April 15, 2013

April 16th is official National Health Care Decisions Day – dedicated to building awareness of the importance of advance health care planning. A 2006 study revealed that despite the fact that 71% of Americans had thought about end-of-life preferences and 95% had heard of a living will, only 29% actually had a living will.

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What is Home Health Care?

posted by Ted Ryan on March 11, 2013

The term home health care embodies a wide range of services that are provided to allow elderly, ill, disabled or recovering individuals to remain in the independence of home. Services can fall anywhere between skilled nursing care to transportation and light housekeeping. Care can range from short weekly visits to around-the-clock 24-hour care.

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Senior Estate Planning - Long Term Care

posted by Ted Ryan on January 29, 2013

When planning one’s estate and legal affairs, it’s important to start early to avoid conflict or complications in the event of an emergency or sudden decline in the condition of an elderly loved one.

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Addressing Concerns Observed in Elderly Loved Ones

posted by Ted Ryan on January 14, 2013

While a holiday gathering may not be the best time to address concerns (such as dementia, incontinence or the ability to manage medications), it is important that they are not ignored. By waiting too long, or avoiding the topics completely, you risk your loved one becoming too confused to make informed decisions and be included in the process.

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Seasonal Affective Disorder - Seniors' Symptoms May Resemble Depression

posted by Ted Ryan on December 11, 2012

Reviewing our most popular blog posts, the topic of Sundowner’s Syndrome always tops the list. This post covers a similar condition – seasonal affective disorder. Like Sundowner’s Syndrome, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is conditional. While Sundowner’s occurs during a specific time of day, SAD occurs at a certain time of the year, usually in the winter. 

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Financial Planners: Tips to Ensure a Successful Meeting with Your Senior Clients

posted by Ted Ryan on November 21, 2012

Financial planning helps ensure that aging seniors can receive the care that they need. A good relationship with their financial advisor is very important. We’ve created a list of tips to help maintain a good relationship with your elderly clients, whose needs may exceed those of the average client.

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Three Ways to Identify Sundowner's Syndrome

posted by Ted Ryan on November 14, 2012

We have all experienced memory loss or forgetfulness. However, as people age, they begin to wonder if their forgetfulness has a more sinister meaning than a simple lapse in memory. They begin to worry about Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or other serious cognitive disabilities, such as Sundowner’s Syndrome.

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Assessing Elderly Drivers and the Interesting Results of a New Study

posted by Ted Ryan on November 07, 2012

Confronting the declining driving skills of an elderly loved one can be a daunting task. A recent study in Canada suggests that perhaps this conversation should include more than an aging driver’s family or caregiver. Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the study found that doctors may have more influence on this touchy subject.

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Flu Vaccinations – Their Importance to Seniors & the Benefits of Acting Early

posted by Ted Ryan on October 03, 2012

As the busy holiday season approaches, so does the flu season. This makes now a great time for an annual flu shot – before your schedule fills up and before the flu has the opportunity to attack. After getting the vaccination, it takes two weeks to start protecting you, so it’s wise to act before the flu season fully kicks in.

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Health Care Risk Factors for Substance Abuse

posted by Ted Ryan on September 25, 2012

Health care workers, more than the general public, face many workplace risk factors for substance abuse disorders. Among these factors are access, stress, lack of education and attitude. 

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Hiring a Home Care Worker - Don't Be An Accidental Employer

posted by Ryan Whittington on August 23, 2012

As more and more baby boomers find themselves caring for aging parents, it is as crucial as ever to understand the process and legal accountabilities of hiring a caregiver. There are many home care services to meet the growing demand. Accordingly, contractual arrangements and employment policies also vary greatly.

 

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Home Care Conferences Create a Stronger Client Experience

posted by Ryan Whittington on April 27, 2012

Alice Endy and Ryan Whittington are attending the 2012 Missouri Alliance for Home Care conference at Tan-Tar-A this year.  We are joining our colleagues from across Missouri to discuss common problems and issues related to home care.  While brainstorming and learning from other home care providers, we will gain helpful knowledge and best practices.

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Home Care Habits - Is Your Family Suffering?

posted by Ryan Whittington on April 09, 2012

Hiring a private duty home care company to assist in your home can be a big decision.  Finding an agency that has the right mix of caregiver personality, skills, trust and reliability are all important and once you find this mix, you may start to overlook key indicators of compromised care.

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Accountable Care Organizations and Private Duty Home Care

posted by Ryan Whittington on February 28, 2012

The Health Care industry in the United States is undergoing a transformation in the way in which it operates and the mechanism through which it serves the people. Some of the changes include formation of ACO’s or Accountable Care Organizations that bring together health care providers to provide services for which the reimbursements are linked to quality metrics and the savings in the cost of care for the targeted population of patients. Further, the provision of home health care services like medication reminders, dementia/Alzheimer’s care and continued companionship are slowly changing the way in which health care is provided and managed in the US.   Though some of these changes were being conceptualized earlier, the passage of the Affordable Care Act has provided an impetus to drive these services.

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Home Care Company Morale - 10 Warning Signs Yours Is Dipping

posted by Ryan Whittington on February 21, 2012

Low morale can easily creep into a company with a mobile workforce without supervisors realizing it. But once it’s there, it’s hard to root out.

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Companionship Services Exemption - Review Your Process

posted by Ryan Whittington on February 13, 2012

In Missouri, among other states, home care workers provide care to clients who are either restricted to their home or have chosen to receive care at home.  When long hours are involved, one way many agencies provide this care is by utilizing the caregiver companionship services exemption. 

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Improve Your Balance to Prevent Falls: 5 Tips for Seniors

posted by Ryan Whittington on February 08, 2012

According to the National Institutes of Health, more than one in three seniors over the age of 65 suffer a fall each year. Nearly 1.6 million of these injured seniors require an emergency room visit and approximately 5,000 of these falls are fatal. The NIH also asserts falls are the largest cause of hospital admissions, fracture and loss of vitality or independence for seniors. The loss of balance that accompanies age is a key reason for these unwanted falls and their resulting injuries. Here are 5 senior home care tips to help improve your balance, and quality of life.

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Advocacy and Education

Alzheimer ’s Disease - Home Care Keeps You Comfortable

posted by Ryan Whittington on October 04, 2011

Seniors with dementia and diseases such as Alzheimer’s can often be prematurely placed into nursing homes. Senior home care is an often overlooked alternative to nursing care facilities. This disease will eventually take your loved one away, and is painful to watch.  There are many different stages.

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Congestive Heart Failure - Have You Considered Home Care?

posted by Ryan Whittington on September 30, 2011

As adults age their hearts start to wear out.  One of the complications they can suffer is congestive heart failure. While most people develop this slowly over time it can happen suddenly without warning. There is no cure, only management of this chronic long term heart failure. Often heart failure is caused by other problems such as coronary heart disease, infections, and cardiomyopathy.  

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Cell Phones for Seniors - A Home Care Ally

posted by Ryan Whittington on September 27, 2011

As a leading St. Louis home care company, we are always looking for ways to help our clients and their families.  A cell phone can be a helpful tool to both caregivers and clients.  Text and video messaging can allow a caregiver to talk with a senior on a very personal and confidential level.

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Advocacy and Education

Professional Caregivers - Who are you leaving your loved one with?

posted by Ryan Whittington on September 09, 2011

When choosing a home care company, you should be looking at the caregivers who they employ.  The person you talk to on the phone or at a trade show may do and say all of the right things, but how do you know your loved one will receive the best care.

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Sad, Confused and Tired - Depression Among the Elderly

posted by Ryan Whittington on September 07, 2011

When people begin to age and become unable to take care of themselves, it can take over and quickly become depression. The rate of elderly people in the United States is growing rapidly making healthcare for senior citizens one of the highest medical costs. Depression and seniors is not a good mix, and it can cause a lot of other problems all over their body and can even cause premature death.

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Top 5 Questions to Ask When Choosing Home Care

posted by Ryan Whittington on August 31, 2011

Choosing quality care for aging relatives can be one of the most important decisions any of us will make.  We want our loved ones to be comfortable but also safe and well cared for.  Senior home care services can be the answer for many consumers. These services allow seniors to stay comfortably in their own homes but also provide for qualified professionals to visit regularly to ensure quality care.  There are five important questions anyone should answer before hiring a service:

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Senior Care - Who Will You Call In Case Of Emergency?

posted by Ryan Whittington on August 08, 2011

During these hot summer days, it’s important to avoid the heat by staying in an air-conditioned environment and drinking plenty of water. Ice helps to keep our drinks cold and our bodies hydrated, but there is another kind of ice that can help individuals during an emergency situation. By programming “ICE,” or “In Case of Emergency” contacts in your cell phone, it can help save your life by storing crucial information for first responders.

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Aging Senior Needs - Home Care Resources in the Community

posted by Ryan Whittington on August 05, 2011

Finding resources in your community can be a challenging task.  Ask a family member caring for a loved one, and they will tell you there are times they feel as though the chips have been stacked against them and they just needed help.  As a home care provider, Seniors Home Care regularly helps seniors in the community connect with reliable resources in a attempt to improve the quality of live for seniors in need.

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Weight Loss Among the Elderly - Is It Due to Depression or Dementia?

posted by Ryan Whittington on July 14, 2011

At Seniors Home Care we empower our caregivers and staff by providing ongoing training programs.  This information is also helpful to family caregivers who may have noticed a loved one's weight loss.

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Put Your Feet In the Water; Not Your Phone - Keeping Electronics Safe

posted by Ryan Whittington on July 06, 2011

As a professional providing Private Duty Home Care , I am reminded more and more that we all rely on technology in every day life and business.  With just a phone call away, phones and electronic devices can allow family members who care for their relatives and loved ones, to enjoy the many pleasures the warmer weather brings.  Summer time in St. Louis is a great time to enjoy the many water parks, lakes and streams we are so fortunate to have.  Just dont forget to protect those items in your pocket.

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Smart Phone Apps: Proactive Care for Seniors

posted by Ryan Whittington on May 17, 2011

May is National Older Americans Month, and while the nation celebrates the contributions of its seniors, the Administration on Aging is taking a look at the many ways technology is helping older Americans live longer, healthier and more engaged lives. Technology is ever-changing, and today’s seniors are quickly learning how the latest innovations, particularly in cell phones, can help stay them connected with family, friends and the information that is important to them.

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Weight Loss: Underlying Factors Among the Elderly

posted by Ryan Whittington on April 29, 2011

John, age 85, is receiving home care after a recent fall and fracture of the hip. Over the last year since his wifes death, he has experienced a large weight loss.  Johns doctor feels that the weigh loss contributed towards his fall and something needs to be done.  John admits to not having the appetite he used to when his wife was alive, "She used to make me a snack every night before bed.  I always knew that she cared."

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Financial Planners: How to Help Your Clients With Pre-Dementia

posted by Ryan Whittington on February 23, 2011

As a financial planner, you may have known some of your clients to experience dementia realated symptoms over the years. You may be one of the first groups of professionals to identify and face the effects of early cognitive struggles. Alzheimer's and other congnitive imparment diseases can progress quickly and financial management concerns should be addressed.

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Confusion, Agitation, Anxiety in Seniors - Is it Sundowners Syndrome?

posted by Ryan Whittington on February 17, 2011

Sundowning is a term used with Alzheimer's and dementia in order to describe behavior difficulties that can occur in the early morning, late afternoon, evening or night hours.  Sundowning is commonly associated with early stages of Alzheimer's and can be found in senior citizens who are in an unfamiliar setting such as a rehabilitation facility, hospital or have recently moved to assisted living.

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Emergency Preparedness for the Elderly

posted by Ryan Whittington on February 11, 2011

Living along the Gulf of Mexico, on the west coast of Florida, for several years, I became concerned with Hurricane season each year.  In lieu of the past several seasons with devastating storms across the nation, I have become especially concerned for the elderly that I serve.

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Paying for Home Care Services- What You Should Know

posted by Ryan Whittington on February 09, 2011

In Home Care Services, some agencies provide one, some or all of the possible services available. Home Care Services fall into 5 general categories.

  • Homemaker Services
  • Personal Care Services
  • Meal Services
  • Home Health Care Services
  • Skilled Health Care Services

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Affording Home Care and Long Term Care

posted by Ryan Whittington on January 12, 2011

With everyone finding ways to stretch their funds, I went to my mom, Kit Whittington RN, BSN, owner of Seniors Home Care and posed the question:

"How can a family maximize their home care dollar?"

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Care for the Elderly: Congestive Heart Failure

posted by Ryan Whittington on January 10, 2011

"All I Heard Was Congestive Heart Failure. What Does That Mean? Is She Going To Die? "

"He Is Trying to Explain It – But It is Like The Doctor Is Speaking Another Language…"

As a nurse who primarily cares for the elderly, these are common reactions I hear. 

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What You Need to Know When Choosing an In-Home Care Provider - Part 2 of 2

posted by Ryan Whittington on December 14, 2010

In a previous post I outlined several ways to select private duty home care.  In this article I will provide additional questions you should be asking potential private duty home care providers.

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Planning for Long Term Care - Long Term Care Insurance

posted by Ryan Whittington on November 29, 2010

There are many considerations to take when purchasing a long term care insurance policy.  In this article I am going to highlight several talking points.

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Senior Home Safety - What you need to know about Durable Medical Equipment

posted by Ryan Whittington on November 22, 2010

Part of a good assessment should include assessing the needs for devices such as a wheel chair, bedside commode and/or grab bars.  In the medical industry, this is called Durable Medical Equipment (DME).

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Veterans Day - Home Care Makes a Difference in Veterans Lives

posted by Ryan Whittington on November 11, 2010

Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefits can make a huge difference in a persons life, however, the actual benefit still remains somewhat a mystery.  Some say the benefits are too good to be true while others swear the benefit has allowed them to remain independent longer.

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What You Need to Know When Choosing an In-Home Care Provider - Part 1 of 2

posted by Ryan Whittington on November 10, 2010

Living in the comfort of their own home is a rapidly increasing choice among the elderly as physical capabilities inevitably diminish.  The need for help outside the family becomes a real necessity.  When living at home with minimal help becomes too difficult or dangerous, it may be time to consider an in-home care provider.  Professional caregivers enable the elderly to maintain their dignity, receiving safe and reliable care in the comfort of thier home, while avoiding uncomfortable situations such as nursing homes.  Another important benefit is the respite and peace-of-mind that family members gain from knowing their loved one's are properly cared for.  Additionally, as hospital stays become shorter, an increasing number of patients need highly competent caregiver services when they return home.

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Financial Planners: 3 Tips for Working with Seniors

posted by Ryan Whittington on October 11, 2010

When advising senior clients, financial planners need to keep these three factors in mind:

  1. Privately Funded.

    Many senior services are not covered by traditional health insurance or Medicare.  Most services; personal care/bathing, medication management, meal preparation, transportation, etc. are privately paid for out of pocket.  As your client ages, it is important to anticipate the costs of long term care.

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