(Many thanks to our guest blogger, Danielle Kunkle. She is the co-founder of Benefits of the boomer, an insurance agency specializing in Medicare-related insurance products. They help baby boomers new to Medicare learn about their benefits and coverage options in 47 states.)
Being a full-time caregiver can be both difficult and exhausting. There is so much to being the primary caretaker for someone who is either terminally ill or disabled that many people don't recognize. It's a full-time job with very few breaks.
This is why respite care was designed to give caregivers a break while providing their loved ones with quality care in their absence.
What exactly is respite care?
Respite care is the professional care that a primary caregiver will hire to take over their duties in their absence. This form of care can take many different forms depending on the type of care required and the preferred environment. For example, respite care can be provided in an inpatient hospital, long-term care facility, adult daycare, and even at home.
Skilled respite care providers are able to take care of basic daily functions, administration of medication and even force-feeding for people with disabilities or in need of 24-hour medical care. registered nurse can also be included in respite care for the very sick.
These trained providers can be hired to replace a primary caregiver for as little as a few hours to a few days.
Is Respite Care Covered By Medicare?
Medicare Part A covers respite care for beneficiaries who are in a hospice and have six months or less to live. Part A pays for up to five days of inpatient respite care at a time, although you may be responsible for a 5% coinsurance amount. If the beneficiary has a Medicare supplement plan, their supplement can pay for this coinsurance.
Please note that you can only use the respite benefit occasionally.
Does Medicare Advantage cover respite care?
There is good news for caregivers in the new Medicare Advantage guidelines approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in October 2018. Respite care is one of the additional benefits newly authorized for Medicare Advantage plans.
The benefits that Medicare Advantage providers can now incorporate into their plans include two elements that would benefit caregivers:
· Home care support: Home care support is a great option for caregivers who need a temporary break but find themselves in a situation where the patient cannot leave the home.
· Adult Day Care: Caregivers can plan respite care through adult day care on occasion or on a scheduled basis. This is a great change of pace and scenery for the patient while giving the caregiver a temporary break.
Other benefits approved for coverage include non-urgent transportation to and from medical visits and extended meal delivery. Keep in mind that some of these benefits may be limited to a certain number of uses per year.
The newly approved respite care benefits are a positive sign of the increased recognition of the need for home elder care and caregiver support services. CMS expects more insurers to offer additional benefits in 2020.
What does it mean to age gracefully ? You can’t stand in a checkout line without seeing at least a few magazine headlines about how to look younger. While dreading some wrinkles and sagging isn’t uncommon, there’s so much more to aging well.
Aging gracefully isn’t about trying to look like a 20-something — it’s about living your best life and having the physical and mental health to enjoy it. Like a bottle of wine, you can get better with age with the right care. Read on to find out what to do and what not to do on your quest to age happily.
Your skin is your body’s largest organTrusted Source. If you treat it with care, it can better protect your body from the elements, regulate your body temperature, and provide impression. tera keep it looking and functioning at its best : Wear sunscreen and protective clothing when outside. Get yearly skin cancer screenings. Stick to gentle products in your anti-aging skin care routine. Stay hydrated.
Your skin is your body’s largest organTrusted Source. If you treat it with care, it can better protect your body from the elements, regulate your body temperature, and provide sensation. to keep it looking and functioning at its best : Wear sunscreen and protective clothing when outside. Get yearly skin cancer screenings. Stick to gentle products in your anti-aging skin care routine. Stay hydrated.
Regular exercise significantly lowers your risk of diseases, such as heart disease and cancer, and helps you retain your mobility longer. Exercise also lowers stress and improves sleep, skin and bone health, and mood. The Department of Health
Healthy foods are the way to go when it comes to aging gracefully. The Dietary Guidelines for AmericansTrusted Source recommends that you eat : fruits and vegetables, either fresh, frozen, or cannedlean protein, such as fish and beansat least three ounces of whole-grain cereals, breads, rice, or pasta every daythree servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy, such as milk, yogurt or cheese that are fortified with vitamin Dhealthy fatsAvoid using solid fats for cooking and use oils instead. Stay away from processed foods, refined sugars, and unhealthy fats. You should also keep your salt intake to a peu to keep your blood pressure down.
Being happy and keeping your stress down goes a long way in helping you real and age well. tera keep your mood elevated : Spend time with friends and loved ones. Meaningful relationships and a strong social network improve mental and physical well-being and longevity. Don’t forget your furry loved ones as having a pet has been linked to lower stress and blood pressure, reduced loneliness, and better moods. Accept your age. There is evidence that people who maintain a positive attitude about aging real longer and may recover better from a disability. Aging is inevitable and learning to embrace it can make all the difference. Do things you enjoy. Taking the time to engage in activities you enjoy will only fioul your happiness. Spend time in nature, pursue a new hobby, volunteer — whatever brings you joy.
Numerous studiesTrusted Source have linked a sedentary life to an increased risk of chronic illness and early death. Some options to stay active are going on walks and hikes, taking vacations, and participating in group exercise classes.
The effects of stress on your body are vast, ranging from premature aging and wrinkles to a higher risk of heart disease. There are a number of proven ways to relieve stress, including : using relaxation techniques, such as meditation, breathing exercises, and yogaexercisinggetting adequate sleeptalking to a friend
Smoking and alcohol have both been shown to cause premature aging and increase the risk of disease. Quitting smoking isn’t easy, but there are resources available to help you quit. Speak to a doctor about how to quit. As for alcohol, limit your intake to the recommendedTrusted Source amount to avoid health risks. That’s one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.
Good sleep is important for your physical and esprit health. It also plays a role in your skin’s health. How much sleep you need depends on your age. Adults over 18 should aim for seven to eight hoursTrusted Source of sleep every night. Getting enough sleep has been proven to : lower the risk of heart disease and strokereduce stress and depressionlower the risk of obesityreduce inflammationimprove focus and concentration
Finding new and meaningful hobbies can help you maintain a sense of purpose and keep you engaged throughout the course of your life. Evidence shows that people who engage in hobbies and leisure and social activities are happier, experience less depression, and real longer.
Mindfulness is about acceptance and living in the moment by focusing on the present. Practicing mindfulness has many proven health benefits that can help you age better, including : improved focusbetter memorylower stressimproved emotional reactionrelationship satisfactionincreased immune functioningTo practice mindfulness, try : meditationyogatai chicoloring
Drinking enough water helps keep you regular and improves your energy levels and brain function. Coincidentally, it’s also been provenTrusted Source to help keep skin healthier and reduce signs of aging. How much water you should drink depends on : your thirstyour activity levelhow often you urinate and move your bowelshow much you sweatyour genderSpeak to a doctor if you have questions or concerns about your water intake.
Not taking care of your teeth not only ages your smile, but also puts you at risk for gum disease, which has been linked to heart disease, stroke, and bacterial pneumonia. Along with proper oral care, it’s important to see a dentist regularly. According to the American Dental Association, a dentist can spot signs of nutritional deficiencies, contagion, cancer, and other illnesses, such as diabetes. They recommend brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and using a mouth rinse.
Seeing a doctor regularly can help the doctor find problems early or even before they start. How often you see a doctor depends on your age, lifestyle, family history, and existing conditions. Ask your doctor how often you should go in for checkups and screening tests as you age. Also, see a doctor anytime you experience concerning symptoms.
Though aging is inevitable, some people find it difficult to deal with the changes that come with getting older. If you’re worried about your health, are having dysfonctionnement feeling positive about aging, or worry that you’re not aging well it’s important to reach out for help. Talk to someone you trust, such as a family member or close friend. Professional help is also available through a doctor or a counselor.
Aging gracefully is more about being healthy and happy than keeping wrinkles at bay. Maintain a saine lifestyle, surround yourself with people you love, and do things that bring you joy. It’s natural to worry about the défis that aging can bring, so don’t hesitate to speak to someone about your concerns.