Senior Care

Signs of Depression in Seniors

So today’s topic, what we’re going to talk about is Signs of Depression in Seniors. Obviously depression is one of the biggest problems facing our seniors. You heard that from other podcasts and other blog posts that we’ve done and we wanted to dive into a little bit more about the signs of depression and some of the causes and also, some of the different treatments that can help. 

So to start off, I just want to talk a little bit about what depression is. Depression is actually defined as a major mental disorder that directly affects a person move in a negative way. There’s a lot of different signs and symptoms of depression. It’s a little bit different in every different scenario. Every situation, every client, every patient has their own individual signs, symptoms and also treatments what works for them.  So jumping into what some of the symptoms are.  

One of the symptoms would be sadness. If you typically have one of your loved ones that’s typically a very jovial person, a very outgoing social person and you’ve noted that they have a lot of sadness in their daily routine and they have a lack of interest in doing some of the social activities that they used to, those can be definite signs of depression. 

Another one is no appetite. Their appetite, their diet has changed. You can usually notice these trends, especially if you’ve been around them a lot in the past. Anxiety is another thing. Avoiding social interaction like we had discussed and they just typically don’t have any interest in social interaction anymore. They don’t get any joy out of interacting with others.  

Insomnia, just an overall lack of sleep. They’re looking a little bit rough in the morning, a little bit worse for wear. Like they didn’t get a great sleep in.  

Lack of confidence – they’ve just sort of lost that confidence that they used to have and unfortunately they’re struggling a little bit to get that back.  

And another would be feeling guilty or unworthy. And these are some of the signs that you’re gonna notice them if they’re typically, if it’s unusual for their character. 

And one of the more major signs would be any suicidal thoughts or tendencies, maybe somebody that you know really well, one of your family members or a loved one brings up something even in a joking manner about suicide. You should definitely take that very seriously and investigate in that a little bit further. 

So now we’ll jump into maybe what some of the causes are of depression in seniors. So one of the main causes can be obviously Health issues. So we’re talking about things like disease, disability, chronic pain. These can all contribute to depression, making it worse or instigating it altogether.  

Medications – there can also be side effects of certain medications that can cause depression, fears, isolation. And loneliness can lead to depression and just not having a general sense of purpose, obviously, once you get a little bit older not as many people have to rely on you as far as financially you’re not working anymore, you’re retired. So you just generally have less people relying on you and some of the other reasons. 

Some of the other causes could be bereavements. So things like a death of a family member, obviously there’s grief involved, some people that is kind of a catalyst for depression and it’s really tough to get out of it even as you start working your way through the grief. 

So those are some of the causes. And I also wanted to know that seniors are actually at a higher risk of depression and even more commonly, so it is with seniors that have underlying health illnesses. Things like cancer and heart disease, illnesses like that can really be contributed and factors as well. And as per the CDC which is the Centers for Disease Control, they estimate that one to 5% of seniors have depression. So that’s not a huge number but when you get to seniors that do have those underlying health issues, it actually the number jumps up to 13.5% of seniors are depressed. And that’s obviously an estimated number. But you can see that it really jumps up with seniors that do need home care services. And that’s usually because of limited mobility, disease, just any underlying health conditions – all of that can contribute to the depression. 

Now there’s a few different options for treatment. We’re not gonna get into thorough detail of this, but the first would be Self-help. So with self-help, it’s just things you do on your own, you’re able to do at home. It’s little things like exercise – you want to be remaining active. Your diet – You want to maintain that balanced, healthy diet. There’s also support groups that you can join with others with depression and also medical professionals that will help out in those groups. You should also keep doing any activities you enjoy even if you’re struggling to be excited about them. Sometimes that can help snap a person out of depression. It’ll bring back those memories and trigger those memories and it will really improve the mood going.  

And the last for self-help would be just making sure you get enough sleep. Obviously, with individuals that have that insomnia and things like that, it’s a little bit more of a concern but overall you want to be getting your minimal amount of sleep per night. If you are having sleep issues insomnia, then you’d want to see a medical professional as well that can help you all with that.  

And some of the alternatives to self-help are things like therapy. You can actually go in and talk to somebody. Any psychological therapist, those typically come at a fairly high price range. One of the other options would be taking any depressants, which obviously your doctor would have to prescribe. So in summary, those are just an overview of some of the signs of depression in seniors. Some of the causes, some of the symptoms, how many seniors typically struggle with depression. And then also some of the treatments.  

Obviously, with any of these topics we can go into much further detail, but for the purpose of this podcast, we just want to kind of give a general overview of everything. So I really want to thank you for stopping by and I really hope that offers some insight into signs of depression for seniors. I really look forward to seeing you again next time. Thanks a lot. Bye. Bye. 

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Problems Facing Elderly in the U.S.

I want to start off by introducing some of the statistics that come from NCO which is the national council on aging. 

Chronic disease – So the statistic there is approximately 80% of older adults have at least one chronic disease and 77% have at least two, and there’s four chronic diseases that actually cause almost two thirds of all deaths each year with seniors. And that is heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes, and there are definitely a lot more contributing factors but that’s more so the overview statistic when it comes to chronic diseases. 

Falls – Now every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall. Every 19 minutes an older adult dies from a fall. So as you can see, obviously falls are become a very critical issue when your parents or your loved ones do age, a lot of people don’t recognize the importance of fall prevention and fall safety. Now the nation actually spends $50 billion a year treating older adults because of the result of falling. Now that’s a pretty substantial amount. So obviously that’s something we really zero in on with Wellsprings when we’re putting together our care plans. Fall prevention is generally listed as one of the top three items that our caregivers are looking out for.  

Mental health and substance abuse – So this is actually saying that one in four older adults experiences some sort of mental disorder. That can include anything like anxiety disorders, uh, dementia, memory loss, depression, and that number is actually expected to increase to 15 million by 2030. So obviously, with the baby boomer population increasing every year, that’s going to become more and more of a problem. 

So those are just some quick overview statistics on some of the problems that seniors are facing. It gives us a little bit of insight into the different numbers and what sort of percentage effect it has on the population.  

So now to jump into the actual problems facing the elderly in the U S we’ve went over the statistics. So the number one problem is going to be Costs and Financial security. So a lot of seniors, they didn’t plan ahead. The baby boomer population was a little bit different than it is now. Traditionally a lot of people didn’t have those big savings account. They weren’t looking towards retirement. People are living a lot longer nowadays so they don’t have the income to be able to sustain throughout the time while they’re aging. So contributing factors can be low savings. A lot of debt and obviously the increasing cost of healthcare that’s never going to stop going up. 

We do actually have an e-book, it’s called Funding In-Home Care. So if you want to email us anytime or give us a call, we can definitely send that out. And that actually runs through all the different funding options for seniors. It’s everything from Medicare, Veterans Affairs, Reverse Mortgages – there’s a lot of information there on, some of the sources of funding in pending that a client cannot afford to private pay.  

So another problem facing elderly is obviously Disease. We had touched base a little bit on chronic disease in our statistics. So that’s something we can’t really prevent completely, but we can reduce the chances by doing things like regular doctor’s visits and checkups, having a well-balanced diet and then also exercising on a daily or a weekly basis. Whatever it’s different for each person. 

And the number three problem is Physical deterioration. Unfortunately we can’t get away from that as we age. I think we’re all aware of that. You have certain things like the loss of physical abilities, struggling with ambulation around the home and just any other physical activities. He may be used to play sports or go walking or hiking, biking, things like that that you’re not able to do anymore. So that really contributes to deterioration when we stopped doing those things. So some of the signs could be, a loss of walking speed, trouble going upstairs, things like that you used to be able to do on a daily basis that just become more difficult as time goes on. 

So what a caregiver can come in and do is they can help out with ambulation with doing those exercises, helping out with the diet. There’s also a system of equipment that you can have to come in the house depending on the necessity. But there’s things like stair lifts, there’s Hoyer lifts, there’s all sorts of bathroom equipment there, shower chairs, there’s commodes that can go on the toilet. There’s a lot of different assistive out there that can help out given different situations.  

And number four would be Mental health. We talked about that a little bit as well. The most common being Dementia or Alzheimer’, bipolar, anxiety, depression. 

Number five would be Loneliness. Especially during this time of everybody being in quarantine, that’s limiting family members and friends going out to visit some of the seniors in the area. So some people that were already sort of on that, on the balance of being lonely or having a social life, they’re sort of catapulted into that loneliness phase, you know, being isolated. So, we’re doing a lot of things to help out with that. It kind of falls under the banner of telehealth, but we’re doing phone calls and video calls depending on the senior and their access to different technology. And we’re doing companionship just over phone and by video. So that’s been very helpful to some of our clients. And there’s a lot of social groups as well – when we’re not on quarantine, when everything goes back to normal, there’s a lot of social groups like the Downingtown area, senior center, the Westchester senior center. This is all a really great place for seniors to socialize and different activities. And also they serve meals there. It’s just a really great sort of a social group or gathering for any senior in anybody can join.  

And the number six reason would be Financial Predators. So I think we’re all aware of what this is. You get a phone call and it turns out to be a scam. They’re looking for your credit card information and unfortunately, with seniors, they tend to be the more susceptible population to this. So that’s what scammers target. There’s different things like your phone scams, lottery scams, insurance scams, they’ll even call pretending to be a family member trying to ask for money, anything along those lines. So different things you can do to help out with that is just sort of keep your information overall. Just safe and secure. Have strong passwords on anything that you have financially. Don’t give out your credit card information, don’t give out any social security information. And another option would be to have someone manage your finances if maybe the senior is isn’t quite as sharp with the bookkeeping. And thing in the bill paying as they used to be. There’s some great options out there for managing those finances for them. 

Number seven thing would be Abuse and Neglect. So different signs of abuse could be, if a family member in a different sign of abuse could be physical, it could be like a bruise or a burn or anything along those lines. But abuse can also be a main emotional, so it can actually lead to things like depression and just unusual behavior. You might come in the home and notice that somebody is acting a little bit differently. They’ve acted the same way for the last decade and all of a sudden, in the last few weeks they’ve been just acting a little bit off, a little bit strange. That’s a good indicator that there is something bothering them.  

So in those cases, it’s recommended to contact adult protective services. Essentially what you would do is you would just go online, do a search for that. There’s different agencies in different areas. I know Chester County, the area of aging you can get in touch with and they’ll help out with that. The you can report into them and they’ll kind of take care of it from there. 

And the number eight would be Transportation. So obviously as you get a little bit older, some people they’ll either lose their driver’s license or they don’t feel comfortable driving anymore. So that obviously really limits their mobility and where they can go and where they can visit. And even daily tasks like getting to appointments, picking up groceries, anything like that becomes a lot more difficult. And obviously it’s expensive if someone was taking Ubers all the time or a taxi, it can become very costly for them. So some of the other options would be, some of our caregivers will actually transport clients so they can come in their car and transport the client. It’s at a fairly small cost because the caregiver is there as well and can help out with mobility and things like that. 

And one of the other services for transportation is Rover, which is a very, very cost effective service, which is a great option to have, but sometimes it can be a little bit lengthy because it’s like a bus. You stop and pick up other people. Sometimes you’re the last one to get off, sometimes you’re the first one. So it can be a pretty lengthy time if you’re not prepared for it but it is a great option to have.  

And the last problem would be social climate. By that I mean technology. So obviously with things changing, everything’s done online, including a lot of health things now. There’s tele-health, just communication, everything you sign into your account with your doctor and everything’s all your billing and everything is online. You read test results. So that can be a little bit overwhelming for a senior, especially somebody who didn’t grow up in that sort of timeframe.  

Some of the things that can really help out seniors, obviously depending on their access to technology, but the number one would be YouTube videos. There is now a YouTube video out there for everything. Before I started podcasting, I looked at YouTube videos on how to podcast. I mean you can find anything on there and it’ll show you a quick, usually a couple minute video on how to do things. So if you wanted to learn, how to check your email or how to jump onto Facebook and check out what your family and friends are doing, there is always a YouTube video to go along with that and provide some instruction. And another thing you can do is ask friends or family members for help. So if you have somebody and maybe a family member that comes over once a week or a couple times a week, they can definitely, especially if they’re a younger family member, they can usually always provide a little bit of guidance and a little bit of instruction, on using the different technology devices. 

So in summary, those are some of the different problems and the statistics facing elderly in the U S and I hope that was very informative to some. If anybody wants to dig in and learn a little bit more, they can give us a call anytime at Wellsprings Home Care. Our office is 610-463-0880. And our main email line is info@wellspringshomecare.com. So that’s all I have today, thanks a lot for stopping by and we look forward to seeing you again soon. Thank you. 

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What is 24 Hour Care at Home?

When your elderly loved one is in need of care around the clock, it can be difficult for you and your family members to juggle — especially when perhaps work, distance, and your own families to care for are factors. Visiting regularly is certainly an option, but you may find an added stress when you realize that your loved one needs more care than just frequent check-ins.

What is 24 Hour Care at Home?

Knowing your options is key to beginning to make the right choice for your loved one. While you and your family may worry about moving your elderly relative to an assisted living facility, this is not your only choice. You have tons of options when it comes to in home care, one of which includes 24-hour care.

How to Know if Your Loved One Needs 24-Hour Care

To start, it’s important to look for indicators that your loved one is in need of 24-hour care. Some of these signs you’ll notice from your elderly parent or relative can include:

• Needing help with dressing, eating, drinking, or other normal activities
• Slower movement, especially when it comes to using the bathroom, which can lead to frequent accidents
• Confusion, or other signs of dementia
• Bruising that can indicate falls, or decreased mobility

It’s important to be observant of these signs, and not to wait for your loved one to tell you if they need help. Aging, in itself, can be a difficult time for your loved one. Asking for help can have them feeling like their losing independence, or worse, that they may need to leave their homes.

Luckily, with 24-hour care, your loved one can remain comfortable in his or her home. This type of care is provided by a home aide who is highly trained to help your elderly parent or relative with the specific care that he or she needs.

What is 24-Hour Care?

24-hour care is different than live-in care. With live-in care, usually one caregiver will provide assistance during the week, and another caregiver will take over on the weekends. 24-hour care usually consists of two or more caregivers who rotate shifts day and night.

This type of care ensures that your loved one continuously has the attention that he or she needs, no matter what time of day or night. Because of the shift rotations, the caregivers are alert and ready for whatever it is that your loved one may need. This is especially ideal if your loved one suffers from sundown syndrome or tends to wander at night.

Learn More About 24-Hour Care

If you think that your loved one may be in need of 24-hour care, our team at WellSprings Home Care is here to help. To learn more, contact us at (610) 463-0880, and one of our friendly team members will be happy to answer any questions or concerns.

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Is Hospice 24-Hour Care?

Deciding that hospice is the next step for your elderly loved one may evoke some sadness or fear for you and your family. Hospice may feel like the end of the road, or like death is inevitable for your loved one. However, this special type of care offers so many new resources that may begin to have you feeling relieved and like your loved one is receiving the care that he or she needs.

Is Hospice 24-Hour Care?

Hospice is about keeping a patient comfortable after treatment has ceased to work. With the help of the patient’s primary caregiver, this comfort is provided around the clock, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. You can already see how this option can provide you and your loved one with peace of mind, in addition to a level of ease you wouldn’t have had otherwise.

What Does Hospice Care Provide?

Let’s begin by looking at the specifics of exactly what hospice care is and the services it can provide. To start, hospice can be provided for a patient in the home or at a hospice facility. With either option, a close family member or friend is asked to be the patient’s primary caregiver. This designated person works with the patient’s hospice team to come up with a care plan that will help keep the patient comfortable and at ease.

The patient’s hospice team is a group of health care professionals, usually including doctors, nurses, counselors, social workers, home aides, and therapists. This group of specialists helps to ensure that the patient’s medical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs are being met, based on their care plan.

A care plan is developed based on the patient’s specific needs, and what will allow him or her to be most at ease. This combination of medical, emotional, physical, and spiritual care helps the patient and his or her family to stress less and enjoy each other more. Additionally, if the patient begins to recover during this time, he or she can be transferred out of hospice and back into regular treatment.

Can a Patient Receive 24-Hour Hospice Care?

With the primary caregiver and the hospice team, a patient can receive 24-hour care depending on his or her care plan. Perhaps the primary caregiver has the means to stay with the patient, or the hospice nurses work in shifts to provide continuous care.

Home aides are another option to ensure that the patient is monitored at all times. Not only do home aides help with activities of daily living, or ADLs, but they can offer respite to primary caregivers and take over for a set amount of time, or they can provide care 24/7. Additionally, hospice nurses are typically available by phone 24/7 and make regular visits to check on the patient.

Learn More About Hospice Care

If you’d like to learn more about hospice care, our team at WellSprings Home Care Services would love to help. Contact us at (610) 463-0880 to speak to a team member today.

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Respite Care

Good day and welcome everybody to the Wellsprings home Care Podcast. I’m your host Justin Currie, and I am the owner and also a certified senior care manager here at Wellsprings Home Care. 

So a little bit of background on Wellsprings is we’re based in Exton, Pennsylvania and we serve the counties of Delaware, Montgomery, and Chester, and we offer non-medical home care services to seniors and also to those with disabilities. And Wellsprings is very proud to announce that SeniorAdvisor.com has named us one of 2020 Best of Home Care winners. What that award is it’s actually presented to the top 2 – 3% of home care providers nationwide. So that’s obviously something we’re very excited about here and we couldn’t be more proud of our staff and our caregivers and just the way they’re able to really go in every day and take care of our clients, form great relationships with our clients and we couldn’t be more proud of them. 

So today’s topic, what we’re going to talk about is Respite Care. We’re going to talk about what is Respite Care, what the definition is. We’re also going to talk about some of the struggles that family caregivers face and the reasons for needing Respite Care. And we’re also gonna talk about different payment options for Respite Care. 

What is respite care? 

Respite Care is essentially, it usually has to do with a family caregiver who’s in place caring for a loved one. And it’s essentially to come in and provide relief for them. And in certain cases it can be a one-time thing. It can be in an emergency or it can be on a consistent coverage basis. 

Respite Care  allows seniors and those with disabilities to stay at home while the home care company like Wellsprings can come in and help out by assisting family members. So we can sort of provide that relief for the caregiver in place. And wellsprings can also provide that safety and security in a family member’s absence. So if there is a family member that’s in place caring and they have an emergency, if they’re going even on vacation or any time that they need to leave, one of our caregivers can actually come in and help out with that and just provide them relief so they can work on certain things in their personal lives. Also in certain scenarios, a lot of family caregivers, they’re working 12 hours a day, 14 hours a day, and just really, really tough hours it becomes really demanding – and that’s when Wellsprings caregivers can actually come in and just sort of provide a break, also known as Respite so they can provide that temporary relief. So the family caregiver in place, they can become rejuvenated. They can have their rest, they can catch up on their sleep and they can come back to work, helping out their family member and be in a really good mental and physical state.  

So the next thing I wanted to talk about is the daily struggles that family caregivers face. So probably the number one struggle would be Stress. So obviously when you’re caring for a family member, in most cases the individual, the caregiver, they have their own personal lives. A lot of them are still working full time. So when they’re working full time jobs or even part time jobs and they’re coming into care for a loved one  eight, 10, 12 hours a day, it can become very stressful situation and they don’t have a lot of personal time, which brings us to our next point is just a Lack of Personal Time

Obviously with working a second job as a family care, that really limits your time with your own family. So that’s where a caregiver could come in and offer respite, whether it be for one day, two days a week, whatever works in the family situation.  

And another struggle that family caregivers face is issues with Finances. So essentially when a family caregiver comes in, a lot of times they have to take a step back from their job they’re working. That’s typically you become an unpaid caregiver. Obviously not a lot of us can do that. It would put a big strain on anyone’s finances to quit a full time or a part time job to care for a loved one. And it really puts everybody in a tough position. 

So what our caregivers could do is they can come in and help in that situation and we could maybe come in and help out during the hours where the family caregiver is working their current job and in certain scenarios, benefit providers like Medicaid can actually pay for the respite care to come in and help out. It really depends on the situation. Types of insurance, whether it’s private pay, long-term care insurance, there’s generally options, which we’ll jump to in a few minutes here.  

Another issue would be Lack of Privacy. A lot of our family caregivers that are in place, they’re actually living at the homes of their loved ones. So there they are pretty much on 24/7. It doesn’t give them a lot of time, especially this can be a problem when they have their own family, their own personal life that they need to attend to and it becomes a very large burden. Even though they love who they’re caring for, it can really cause a strain on that family relationship just because of the heavy demand.  

The next would be Sleep Deprivation. With sleep deprivation obviously when you’re working a full time job and you’re coming to care for a loved one, maybe in the evenings or overnight, it can become a huge strain on an individual. Nobody’s built to work that many hours in a day – seven days a week, 12, 14, 16 hours a day. It’s not a reasonable thing to be doing that on a long-term, consistent basis.  

Another issue would be Depression and Isolation. That seems to be a problem we see a lot with family caregivers, because they have a real change in their schedule and they’re in their personal life. They’re not spending as much time. They’re not doing the activities that they used to do. I’m not spending time with loved ones outside of who they’re caring for and it can just feel like an isolated feeling, like they’re almost stuck or restricted. And even though, again, they love who they’re caring for, it can become very demanding very quickly. And a lot of caregivers have actually reported a decline in health since they started caring for a loved one. So obviously this is due to stress, depression, anxiety, things of this nature. It’s different in every situation but you can tell it really takes a toll on the caregiver that’s caring for them.  

So that’s where Wellsprings Home Care can come in and help out. We do offer respite care services. We have a lot of caregivers, like I had mentioned in the Montgomery, Delaware, Chester County areas. And all caregivers are required to have a minimum level of experience and the screening is extremely thorough so whoever can come out and help is always going to have that screening process done ahead of time.  

Some types of situations that you would call on a Wellsprings caregiver would be for short notice if something came up last minute and you needed somebody to fill a spot just to help out for the day. We do have a minimum of four hours but they could come out and help for four hours. We do have a lot of caregivers so that offers more coverage than if it’s just family members caring for somebody.And also other situations would be in an emergency obviously, which no one can plan for. And also as I had mentioned before, it’s just consistent coverage. You always know that you’re going to have coverage in place for a loved one.  

I wanted to get into some also the payment options of Respite Care. So if an individual in Pennsylvania is on a Medicaid waiver, so that is, they have a hired a family member to care for them and it’s called, it’s also known as self-directed care. Depending on the waiver, they typically will pay for respite services as well as long as the provider is an approved Medicaid provider, which Wellsprings Home Care is lucky enough to be an approved Medicaid provider and we provide services for all MCOs which are Keystone first PMC and PA Health and Wellness. Another option would be private pay and that’s pretty straight forward. Obviously the individual would be paying from their savings account or any assets that they might’ve previously accumulated. 

A third option would be Long-term Care Insurance. Now this is only if they’ve had long-term care insurance ahead of time, then any respite that we can come in and help out with, we’ll provide all the information to their long-term care insurance company with hopes of reimbursement for them.  

And another option would be family members. So if you have a family member that’s helping you out financially, a respite care, it’s typically not too extensive. It’s typically only a day here or there. So it’s, the cost isn’t huge. So a lot of the times, a family member, a son, a daughter, an aunt and uncle, anything like that can come in and help out with that.  

And one other option would be Veterans Benefits. So veterans benefits they’re fairly extensive, so it really depends on which benefit you have and if they would choose to pay for that or not. 

I hope that provides a little bit of information as far as payment options and what Respite Care is and you know, hopefully, helps you make a determination on if that’s something you need. And obviously, if you have any questions or concerns, you can, uh, you can call our office anytime at 610-463-0880 or you could also send us an email at  info@wellspringshomecare.com.

So that’s about all I have for today. I really hope that provided some insight into what Respite Care is and how it might be able to help you. So thank you all for stopping by and I’ll talk to you again soon. 

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Home Care in Downingtown

Welcome everyone to the Wellsprings Home Care Podcast. Once again, I’m your host Justin Currie, and as always, I’m here with my two four legged co-hosts Goose and Remington.

Now on today’s podcast, we’re going to be discussing a little bit about Home Care in Downingtown. First off, I just wanted to let you know a little bit about Wellsprings and who we are. We’re located in Exton, Pennsylvania. We’ve been around for about two and a half years now and one of the things we’re really excited to announce is that SeniorAdvisor.com actually gave us one of the 2020 best of home care awards this year. So what that is, is we made it into the top 2 to 3% of home care providers nationwide. So that’s something we’re really proud of and we’re really excited about. And we’re just so grateful to have such a just incredible team out here in Downingtown. We couldn’t be more excited about it and we look forward to aiming for the same goal in 2021.

I wanted to get in to a little bit about what types of services Wellsprings offers in Downingtown. Some of the home care services in Downingtown would include:

Personal Care Services: Those are things like helping out with the activities of daily living which is essentially helping out with like bathing, toileting, ambulating around the home – things that you need to do on a daily basis.

Live-In Care: That’s somewhat synonymous with 24 hour care. Live-In care is actually where the caregiver comes in and they stay overnight. They’ll actually be set up with a bedroom and they’ll live there full time when they’re on shift. And in comparison, 24 hour care is actually where there’s going to be two to three shifts every 24 hours, so that means that the caregiver is going to have to stay alert and active the entire time. There’s no sleeping allowed so it’s a little bit more expensive. The Live-In Care is the more economical option. But if someone is up several times during the night, usually 24 hour care is a requirement.

Dementia Care and Alzheimer’s Care: So all of our caregivers are actually specially trained in house with Dementia Care certifications and Alzheimer’s certifications so we’re very experienced when working with patients with any sort of memory lost all different stages.

Companionship: Whether that be in person or remotely, we do a lot of telephone calls as well for companionship purposes for medication reminders and just overall safety checks.

Veterans care: So we work with a lot of veterans. We have partnerships with certain individuals that can help out with veteran benefits and there’s no cost, no charge to do that. Basically, they’re paid by the veterans administration. So if you think you might qualify, definitely get in touch with us and we can see if we can get you qualified for a bannock fit that will actually pay for pay for some home care services for you.

Respite care: So with respite care, that’s essentially when maybe a family member is caring for a loved one and they just need a break from time to time. Maybe they’re doing it seven days a week and they need somebody to just come in and help out. That was where respite would come in, where one of our caregivers could actually come in and just help out for a day, whether it be a day, a week or two days a week, we can come in and just sort of provide that little bit of a break for the family care giver.

Mobility Assistance: With mobility assistance, we do everything from a full transfer assist where sometimes you might need two caregivers in to do a full transfer to just sort of stand by assist. So if you’re scared of somebody having a fall, maybe they use a walker to get around and they’re a little unsure of their balance, maybe they just came out of skilled nursing or rehabilitation and they’re just sort of unsure of their balance so we can really come in and help out and monitor at all times, especially when they’re ambulating around the home. But just to ensure that we can prevent any falls moving forward.

Wellsprings Home Care is actually very active in the community in Downingtown. So we help out with the Downingtown area Senior Center, which is a really great spot for socialization for doing activities, they can provide meals, and we partner with them. We come in and actually we’ll play bingo with the residents and just sort of hang out with them for a bit and get to know them a little bit better and just helping out any way we can. Some of the other things we do in the community, is we work with a lot of skilled nursing facilities, a lot of assisted living facilities in Downingtown and we’ll go in and volunteer. We’ll obviously offer home care services as well. We have home care aides within those communities that can help out. It’s not just at home that they can help, they can also go to any nursing facility or assisted living facility in Downingtown.

We actually have a really fun photo booth. We call it the Senior Snaps photo booth and it’s fully accessible to those with wheelchairs sitting down, or standing up and the residents in the communities and the patients in the skilled nursing facilities, they can actually come in and take fun and goofy photos. We have photo props there as well and they can come in and get some good memories with their family. A lot of them will come in and they’re very resistant to start out with, but it’s, kind of funny to see as things progress. We can’t get them out of there by the end. We provide them with photos with a backdrop on them that’s something that they can really create a good memory and maybe hang up in their room in the future.

Our caregivers actually all reside within 10 miles of Downingtown. We have a lot of caregivers that work out of Coatesville, Downingtown, West Chester – so we have a big group of caregivers in the area and so they offer a lot of coverage for our clients. We rarely ever have somebody that doesn’t make it into work where we can’t cover it. Obviously emergencies and things like that come up but just because we have a so many caregivers in the area, there’s always somebody willing and able to step in and help out and do a great job.


Our caregivers are also trained and screened as per PA Regulations and requirements, but we actually go over and above that when screening our caregivers as well. The PA regulation requires that you have TB testing (which is tuberculosis testing), you have criminal background checks and there’s a few other little things in there that PA state requires but we actually go over and above that. We do full social security verifications, we do annual drug testing on all of our employees, we do full competency tests, HIPAA testing and we really go over and above when screening our caregivers. And that’s so we can avoid any issues down the road. We want to make sure that who we’re bringing into to our clients in Downingtown, they have somebody that they’re really comfortable with and it can be a long enjoyable relationship.

So once again, if anyone’s looking for home care services in Downingtown, Wellsprings Home Care can definitely help out. We have a lot of really highly skilled caregivers in the area.


We’ll do a full needs assessment for our clients where we take that information and that’s when we screen our caregivers and try and find the right match for you. And in general, most of our clients, they would like to meet the caregiver prior to service and we can arrange that as well just to make sure that you know who’s coming into your home and you’re comfortable with who is coming in there and we’ll also provide follow-ups to that as well. Maybe the caregiver comes in for one or two shifts, we’ll follow up with you right away just to make sure that it’s going to be a match. We’re obviously not going to put somebody in there that doesn’t have the right experience level or there’s a personality mismatch. We are always going to be monitoring that just to ensure that there’s 100% comfort level there. So that’s about all I have for today for home care in Downingtown. It’s always great of you to stop by and I look forward to seeing you again soon. Thanks a lot.

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How is Hospice Care Paid For?

There may be a time in your loved one’s life where you and your family consider hospice care as the next step. This end-of-life holistic care allows for patients to live out their days fully and with dignity, while continuing to receive the attention and care that they need.

WellSprings Home Care

However, you may be wondering how hospice care is paid for. Usually, qualifying patients, such as those with a terminal illness, will not have to pay for hospice care. However, there are several options to explore, and we’ll dive into these a little more deeply here.

Paying for Hospice Care

Several government organizations will cover hospice care, including Medicare, Medicaid, and programs sponsored by the Veterans Administration (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD). Other options include private medical and long-term care insurance, and self-pay is an option, as well.

Medicare and Medicaid

Medicare covers most hospice patients through the Medicare Hospice Benefit. This program requires Medicare to pay for all necessary hospital and doctor care, and includes eligibility for:

• Patients 65 years or older
• Those diagnosed with a terminal illness
• A Medicare-approved hospice provider
• Confirmation from the patient’s doctor that they have less than 6 months to live

Medicare will provide two 90-day stays in hospice, along with an indefinite number of 60-day intervals. Medicaid’s eligibility requirements are similar, however this depends on the state policies.

Private Insurance

Many private insurance plans will pay for hospice care — though not all. While hospice care is typically less expensive than hospital care, some insurance companies do still have limits on their policies regarding hospice treatment. The best option is to check with your loved one’s insurance company to find out more information on their hospice coverage.

VA and Department of Defense Programs

The VA and Department of Defense also offer options when it comes to paying for hospice care. Such programs include:

• TRICARE. This Department of Defense program is for active and retired service members, along with their dependents.
• CHAMPVA (Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veteran’s Affairs). Those who are eligible for this VA program include spouses and dependents of injured or diseased veterans. Those who qualify for TRICARE cannot are not eligible for CHAMPVA.

Other Options

If your loved one does not have insurance, there are still options available in paying for hospice care. A hospice may offer payments on a sliding scale, or even offer care for free. Patients who do not currently have coverage may also be eligible for the Medicare Hospice Benefit.

How to Pay for Hospice Care

While you may be worrying about paying for your loved one’s hospice care, keep in mind that you have plenty of options. Additionally, our team at WellSprings Home Care is happy to provide you with any additional information and assistance. Just give us a call at (610) 463-0880, and one of our team members will be glad to help.

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How to Get Hospice Care At Home

How to Get Hospice Care At Home

When it comes time to consider hospice care for your loved one, you may be faced with a variety of options — specifically, how to get hospice care at home. Understanding exactly what hospice care is and how it works are great steps to discover the best way that it can be provided for your loved one.

Choosing a Home Care Provider

What is Hospice Care?

Many think that hospice is a place itself, particularly where patients who are terminally ill reside; in actuality, it’s a type of holistic care for such patients, allowing them to live their best quality of life when treatment has stopped working. This type of care provides comfort for the patient’s family, as well.

Hospice care is provided by a hospice team, which can typically consist of:

• Your loved one’s primary care physician
• The hospice medical director
• The RN case manager
• A social worker
• A chaplain
• A bereavement counselor
• A home health aide
• A hospice volunteer

These professionals each hold specific roles that encourage the holistic philosophy of hospice care: caring for the mind, body, and spirit to ensure the patient’s overall well being. This includes counseling for the family members, as well.

Hospice Care At Home

Because hospice care is for the total comfort and well being of your loved one, it can be provided in the home. While there are inpatient facilities that provide hospice care, this is only necessary if required by your loved one’s condition.

However, for many patients, being relocated to a hospice facility may be jarring and uncomfortable, which counteracts the premise of the comfort that hospice care is intended to provide. Such services can include:

• Specialized therapy. These sessions can include art therapy, music therapy, and other focused areas that can help your loved one on a mental and emotional level.
• Emotional counseling. Through hospice, your loved one may be provided a counselor for emotional and spiritual peace.
• Home assistance. Hospice care includes help with activities of daily living, or ADLs. A home aide will be provided to assist your loved one with services such as light household chores, eating, bathing, personal hygiene, and simple companionship.
• Pain and symptom supervision. Your loved one’s hospice care team will create a plan that will allow management of your loved one’s pain in a way that is non-invasive and comfortable for him or her.
• Dietary care. Because your loved one’s condition may prohibit proper digestion, it’s important to assess and adjust his or her diet as needed, which hospice care can provide.

How to Get Hospice Care at Home

As you can see, it’s preferable for patients to remain at home while terminal illness can already cause so many changes. Hospice care at home allows this, providing comfort for your loved one, and support for you and your family.

To learn more about how to get hospice care at home, contact us at WellSprings Home Care at (610) 463-0880. One of our team members will be happy to guide you through this process, and ensure that your loved one receives the care that he or she deserves.

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Home Care or Nursing Home?

Home Care or Nursing Home?

When your senior loved one reaches a point of being unable to care for him or herself, it can be difficult to watch. However, there are many opportunities for help — most notably, home care and nursing homes.

But how will you know which is the right decision for your loved one’s needs? Keep reading to understand the pros and cons of home care and nursing homes, so that you can make an informed decision that will give your loved one the most efficient care, and give you peace of mind at the same time.

Home care

Home Care

Home care consists of having one caregiver come to your loved one’s home to help with needs such as personal care, fall prevention, companionship, medication reminders, and more. When you opt for home care, you’re making a more personal choice that offers your loved one many advantages, along with other elements to consider.

Pros:

• Ability to remain in his or her own home, with the added assistance of a caregiver as often as they need them
• Maintaining a sense of independence that they otherwise may feel they’ve lost with age and debilitating health conditions
• A personal relationship with one caregiver, instead of many changing care providers

Cons:

• When choosing a home care provider, you’ll want to be sure that you’ve selected the right person for your loved one’s needs. This may take some more time with interviewing several candidates, and even exploring different agencies.

Nursing Homes

At a nursing home, your loved one will be moved into a space with many other senior residents. He or she may have to share a room, and will find social time in common areas. Your loved one will also be under 24/7 surveillance, as he or she will live there fulltime. Here are some factors to consider…
Pros:

• Your loved one will have medical care available at all times
• Patients with Alzheimer’s or dementia will be more physically secure if they are likely to wander

Cons:

• On the contrary, changing a patient’s environment with Alzheimer’s or dementia can cause confusion
• Your loved one may feel as though he or she has lost his or her sense of independence
• You will most likely not get to know all of the staff members who will be caring for your loved one

Factors to Consider

While you can see the ups and downs of both home care and nursing home, it’s important to consider several factors that might make your decision a little clearer.

First, think about your loved one’s need for independence. Would it be disorienting to change his or her environment? Additionally, does your loved one need medical care?

Our team at WellSprings Home Care can walk you through these questions and help you to decide which is the better fit for your loved one. We happily serve seniors in the Chester County, Montgomery County, and Delaware County areas. Contact us today at (610) 463-0880!

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Senior Relative Care: Top 10 Things to Do in Exton PA

When searching for fun activities to do with your elderly loved one, Exton, PA, is a great place to start. This Chester County area is growing at a rapid pace, with new shopping centers popping up and residential areas expanding.

Senior relative care

Here are some of our favorite picks:

1. Grab Dinner and a Movie

If your loved one’s favorite pastime included going to the movies, check out the Movie Tavern Exton. This hot spot allows you to have dinner and a movie in one place, making it more accessible for those who may have mobility issues.

2. Walk Along the Chester Valley Trail

The beautiful Chester Valley Trail runs through Exton, and is a great option for your loved one to check out the scenery and spend some time in nature.

3. Take a Saturday Shopping Trip

Main Street at Exton is full of popular shops and restaurants that will fill your Saturday afternoon with retail fun. Enjoy browsing through places such as Barnes & Noble, Bed Bath and Beyond, Old Navy, and much, much more!

4. Have a Picnic in the Park

Enjoy a sunny day with a picnic at Boot Road Park. This Exton staple includes a pavilion, playground, picnic tables, restrooms, and is ADA Accessible.

5. Try a Gentle Yoga Class

The yoga community in Exton is booming since the opening of Zia Yoga & Wellness. With classes for all levels, you and your loved one can enjoy a gentle or restorative yoga class, and leave feeling stress-relieved and well rested.

6. Take a Stroll through the Exton Mall

The shopping continues over at the Exton Mall. You and your loved one can check out your favorite stores all under one roof, and even grab a bite to eat on your way out!

7. Take a Tour of Your Local Dairy Farm

Located just outside of Exton, Milky Way Farm is a great place to spend the day. Take a tour and learn all about dairy farming, stop by the Creamery for some homemade ice cream, and take home some farm-fresh eggs for tomorrow’s breakfast!

8. Check Out a Community Event/Festival

The Exton community is continuously hosting different seasonal events and festivals that your elderly relative will enjoy, such as the Barn’s Autumn Festival and the West Whiteland Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.

9. Find Your Inner Picasso at Pinot’s Palette

Whether it’s just you and your loved one or the whole family, Pinot’s Palette is a fun way to spend time together. Indulge in your favorite glass of wine while creating a piece of art that your loved one can cherish forever.

10. Have Brunch at Stolen Sun Brewery

Stolen Sun Brewery is more than just a place to try their great-tasting craft beers. Enjoy an amazing brunch every Sunday, along with live music and events throughout the week.

The Top Activities for Seniors in Exton

Now that you have an idea of what’s happening in the ever-growing town of Exton, PA, you can plan a great weekend for you and your loved one to create even more memories and fun experiences together.

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