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FirstLantic Blog – The Path to Outstanding Home Healthcare2021-04-22T08:26:59-04:00

Choosing Between Home Healthcare or Assisted Living

Home Healthcare or assisted living?  For many seniors, there comes a time when they need a little extra help and have to decide whether to stay in their own home and hire a home healthcare provider versus moving into an independent or assisted living community. There are advantages to both, so it's essential to determine what you need and weigh the cost benefits and your personal lifestyle preferences. In South Florida, there are many options enabling you to make the best choice suited to your needs. Here are the main things to consider: Requirements for assistance The first consideration is deciding on the type of home services you need. Do you simply require help with household chores, meals, or full-time assistance due to medical needs? Is your home still manageable, or has it become too much to handle because of size, layout, or accessibility to doctors, stores, family, etc.? Make a complete list of your priorities and rank them in order based on importance. At this stage, don't worry yet about the cost; you are simply determining your requirements based on your health and activity levels. Lifestyle considerations The second consideration concerns quality of life and what will provide you with the most enjoyment. Are you a homebody who loves nesting, or do you like to socialize and meet new people? Do you believe "there is no place like home," or do you love the idea of a new adventure? How active are you? It may be an easy decision depending on your answers to these questions. Suppose you are the "home sweet home" type. In that case, many home care services can help you stay in your home and provide additional support for day-to-day household chores, meal planning, medication management, and doctor visits. However, suppose you are the type who loves [...]

September 12th, 2022|Categories: Health|

Keeping Social Security Available for Future Generations

When President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Bill into law on August 14, 1935, he could hardly have predicted that it would end up being one of the most successful anti-poverty programs ever created within the U.S. Without Social Security benefits, 21.7 million more Americans would currently be below the poverty line according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. ​And Social Security does more than provide retirees with monthly payments. It provides ongoing income to surviving spouses and their children as well as disabled workers and their families through SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance). Among elderly beneficiaries, 37% of men and 42% of women depend on Social Security for 50% or more of their income while 12% of elderly men and 15% of elderly women depend on Social Security for 90% or more of their income. But the viability of the program is uncertain and future generations may pay the price.  FirstLantic, a company dedicated to senior healthcare in South Florida, offers some possible solutions. How did problems arise? The U.S. is the richest country in the world so how can the budget be running out. ​​Well, demographics are part of the problem. Boomers have massively contributed to the economy but 70 million of them will be eligible for benefits by 2034 which is more than double the beneficiaries in 1985. ​​And as life expectancies continue to increase, that means many workers will receive benefits for a much longer time. The hardworking boomer generation helped the Social Security OASDI trust funds grow to a peak of over $2.9 trillion. But with boomers retiring, that means fewer workers feeding into the system.  Combine that with a declining birth rate and you have a problem. In 1955, there were more than eight workers supporting each Social Security beneficiary. Now [...]

Travel Tips for Seniors

Click here to watch the video >   FirstLantic Home Healthcare offers traveling tips for seniors in this video — from cruises to group tours, senior discounts to safety advice, Firstlantic Home Healthcare offers you peace-of-mind that you or your family member will always receive outstanding care — delivered with compassion and dignity. www.firstlantic.com Click here for more Firstlantic Healthcare blogs > Click here for more information on FirstLantic >

Six Ways to Be Your Own Health Advocate

  “The doctor always knows best.”  It wasn’t that long ago when many people believed it was inappropriate to question anything their doctor said. After all, they were the ones that went to medical school, so they must have all the answers, right? But no matter how good your doctor is, you still need to be your own healthcare advocate. You know your body better than anyone else. Taking control means that you and your doctors make decisions as a team and that any concerns you have should be addressed. Taking an active role in your health matters as it ensures you get the services and support you need. FirstLantic offers six tips to ensure that you get the best treatment possible. 1. Do Your Research Before going to a physician, validate their credentials, find out whether any complaints have been filed, and check patient reviews. To check on credentials and complaints, The Federation of State Medical Boards is a good place to start. You can verify their license and board certification and see if any disciplinary actions have been taken. Reviews are critical because they can tell much about a doctor's bedside manner. They might have the most amazing credentials, but if you can't have an open dialogue with them, they may not be the right fit. Make sure you fully understand what is covered by your healthcare insurance. Does the office visit require a co-pay? Does your insurance cover lab tests, and which type? Do they cover the cost of prescriptions, and do they need you to use generic options when possible? Also, before you agree to any unexpected treatment options or tests, ensure you know what costs are responsible for paying, so you don't get surprises. Research your symptoms, medications, and potential treatments before seeing a physician. The [...]

Pay it Forward During Human Kindness Week

  Have you ever wondered how much better the world could be if we were all just a bit kinder?   What if global crises brought out the best in humanity instead of the worst? While that may sound a little kumbaya, there is no doubt that we could all use more happiness and a little less hate. So, why not set a goal for yourself and do one good deed each day during Human Kindness Week, celebrated from August 25th to August 31st? FirstLantic offers ten suggestions for ways that you can help to spread a little bit of goodwill. Adopt a pet You don't have to limit your kindness to humans. Giving a pet a forever home is one way to open your heart. Roughly 6.5 million animals enter shelters each year, but only 3.2 million are adopted. And if you can't adopt right now, why not consider fostering? Shelters always look for people who can give animals a temporary home until they get adopted, reducing the stress of living in a cage. The love you provide will be returned ten-fold. Volunteer Help at a community garden, work at a soup kitchen, or make phone calls to raise money for a charity. There is no shortage of organizations that could use a helping hand. And if you can't find the time to volunteer, then donate to a cause that you are passionate about. Even $10.00 can make a difference. Reach out to an old friend Make a friend's day by picking up the phone to see how they are. No agenda, just a good old-fashioned catch-up. Better yet, use Facetime or make it a Zoom call so that you can see each face to face. We often think about our friends but don't always take the time to let [...]

Seven Tips for Seniors Battling Inflation

Inflation is creating difficulties for people globally, but it can create an even more significant hardship for seniors on fixed incomes. There are over 56 million Americans that are 65 years of age and older, and about 12 percent of them live solely on Social Security, which pays an average of $1,658 per month. While payments have increased by 5.9% to account for cost-of-living adjustments, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the consumer price index jumped 8.3% year-over-year in April. So, if you are a senior living on a fixed income, what can you do to adjust your lifestyle until inflation gets under control? FirstLantic offers five tips that you can put into action today. Consider getting a roommate. While you may think you're too old to live with someone else, you might find having another person around will reduce your loneliness, help you around the house and reduce your monthly living expenses. Try a service like com, which makes it easy for seniors to find a compatible housemate. Get assistance with transportation. With the rising price of gasoline, you may want to consider leaving your car at home and using a service like Elder Helpers, which provides free transportation through volunteers. Veyo is another option as they partner with insurance companies and health facilities to provide non-emergency medical transportation covered as an insurance benefit. Finally, many counties offer free or low-cost transportation options, which you can find by contacting your county’s Area Agency on Aging. Shop around for insurance. If you still need a car, then FinanceBuzz can tell you if you're overpaying for your car insurance. For home insurance, you can check out Expert Insurance Reviews and advice from com on the best policies for seniors. As for healthcare, to ensure you are getting the best coverage [...]

Four Ways to Keep Your Brain Healthy As You Age

  Have you ever believed the familiar adage that you can't teach an old dog new tricks? That you are simply past the point of being able to learn different things once you reach a certain age?   If you have entertained those thoughts, then FirstLantic has some information that might change your mind. Scientific evidence shows that while for most people, raw mental horsepower declines after the age of 30, knowledge and expertise keep increasing even beyond the age of 80.    Data also suggests that drive and curiosity are catalysts for new skill acquisition, even during late adulthood. And intellectually engaged people tend to be lifelong learners regardless of their age. The more intellectually curious, the more they continue to gain knowledge, including vocabulary. Another study showed that some mental abilities—such as executive inhibition and orienting—actually get better with age. And what does that mean, you ask? Well, let us explain. Orienting involves shifting cognitive resources by engaging alternative brain regions, while executive inhibition reflects the ability to ignore distracting or conflicting information. In fact, older adults are significantly better than younger adults at focusing on what’s important when doing a task. And despite the stereotype that people become more dissatisfied with their life as they age, some research suggests just the opposite.   As we get older, we become better at 'reading' other people solving conflicts, and finding more appropriate solutions to handling personal problems than younger people.   "It's far from everything gets worse with age," says Gloria Luong, a research scientist. “We become better judges of character, and the quality of our social relations is better than those of younger people." That said, we can play a significant role in ensuring our brains stay as healthy as possible. Here are four tips. Exercise Exercise improves our body but also helps our [...]

Senior Employees; the Secret Weapon of Successful Businesses

  How often do you hear a hiring manager from a company say, "We've got to hire older workers." Just taking a guess – but probably not frequently. And yet, older workers could be one of the secret weapons to overcome the labor shortage. While many companies struggle to find qualified employees, Americans over 65 are one of the few demographic groups where employment levels have not recovered to pre-pandemic levels. So, why are companies ignoring this demographic, and why should they make a concerted effort to recruit older workers? FirstLantic explains why a company’s greatest asset may be older workers. First, we don't have to guess why most businesses don't hire older workers. Ageism does exist. A research study on behalf of Deloitte asked approximately 10,000 companies whether age was a competitive disadvantage. Over two-thirds of the companies said that it was. This is consistent with data from AARP that shows two-thirds of individuals aged 45 to 74 have experienced age-related discrimination. Some misnomers about older workers include that they aren't tech-savvy, don't have the stamina to keep up, won't fit in, and expect an exorbitant salary. Or, as Mark Zuckerberg famously said, "younger people are just smarter." Now that he's almost 40, I wonder if he regrets that statement. In all fairness, he was only 22 when he made that comment, and most of us would probably regret a few things we did and said when we were younger. But the point is that myths about age and work are not limited to Mark Zuckerberg. A survey of hiring managers by the employment nonprofit, Generation, found that most of them felt workers under 45 have the best skills and fit into a corporate culture most easily. Yet older workers perform better than younger workers in real-world scenarios. “Hiring managers have [...]

These Steps Will Help You Find the Best Home Healthcare Provider

Updated July 2022 Part 2 in a two-part series Now that you have decided that you or a loved one needs help at home and the type of care required, it’s time to find the right provider. While it's hard to admit that assistance is required, choosing a healthcare agency you trust to provide the highest care possible can be even more challenging. That's why it's crucial to perform your due diligence and follow the steps that FirstLantic outlines below. As we described in our blog last week, there are many options regarding the type of help you can get. Home healthcare can range from aids that assist with daily tasks such as cooking, transportation, and even companionship to skilled nurses who can monitor patients who have medical conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. So, whether you need an aid for several hours a day or a full-time nurse, there are options that can meet your specific needs. The first step is to assemble a list of providers in your local area. Ask for recommendations from friends, doctors, nurses, and community leaders. Also, you can go to Eldercare.gov; a public service provided free of charge by the U.S. administration on aging. Once you have created a list of providers, there are questions that you should ask each of the home healthcare services as well as other individuals who may know about the provider’s track record. How long has the agency been in business? Does the State license the agency? Does the agency meet federal requirements for health and safety? Are employees licensed and insured? What’s the agency’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating? Does the agency service veterans? Does this provider supply literature such as a detailed “Patient Bill of Rights” that outlines the providers, patients, and caregivers’ rights and responsibilities? How does the provider select and train its employees? Does it protect its [...]

Choosing the Right Type of Home Care for Your Loved One

Part One in a Two-Part Series Mom lives alone, and it’s becoming apparent that she can no longer do specific tasks around the house by herself. While you know she needs help, you want to ensure you find a caregiver you and your mom can trust.   But first, it's essential to determine the type of assistance she needs and then find the person who can best meet those requirements. Unfortunately, many adults struggle with these questions when trying to find the proper home care for their loved ones, and the decision-making process can be overwhelming. Fortunately, FirstLantic, a company devoted to quality home healthcare, provides guidance to make finding the best solution easier. There are many reasons someone needs help at home, ranging from support with daily activities like cooking meals to personal care assistance to medical treatment. You might assume that the same caregiver can perform all these services, but that is not necessarily the case. There are regulations and licensing requirements that dictate the type of care that a caregiver can provide. There are three types of caregivers. Non-certified aides and companions Also known as personal caregivers or companions, non-certified aides provide care services for seniors that exclude medical treatment or activities requiring medical training. This can include: Housekeeping Meal preparation Laundry Companionship Transportation The distinct difference between a personal caregiver and a companion is that a caregiver has formal training to provide more direct personal care services. Companions are not allowed to provide hands-on assistance to their clients and are more restricted to household duties, transporting seniors to doctor appointments, grocery shopping, etc. If a loved one needs supervision and friendship more than physical support, then a companion would be best for them. Otherwise, a personal caregiver can perform all the same duties as a companion and [...]

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