Little Rock – August 4, 2016 – Home Helpers of Little Rock today announced that it has received the Certified – Trusted Provider distinction from Home Care Pulse. This distinction illustrates Home Helpers’ commitment to client satisfaction.
“We want to commend Home Helpers of Little Rock for receiving the Certified – Trusted Provider distinction,” says Aaron Marcum. “Home Care Pulse awards this distinction to providers who are actively gathering feedback from their clients each month and using that feedback to improve the quality of care they provide. By choosing a Certified – Trusted Provider to care for their loved ones, families can be reassured that their provider is dedicated to quality in home care.”
Certified – Trusted Providers have contracted with Home Care Pulse to gather and report feedback from their clients by conducting live random phone interviews with a percentage of their clients each month. Because Home Care Pulse is an independent third-party company, they are able to collect honest and unbiased feedback, without outside influence. Clients rate their provider’s services in areas such as timeliness of caregivers, services being provided as promised, compassion of caregivers and overall quality of care. Clients are also given the opportunity to provide feedback for their provider.
“I’ve often said that in The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy had it right – there’s no place like home. It’s remarkably rewarding to be certified as a Trusted Provider and that we’ve made staying at home possible for so many people. I’m so proud of my caregiver employees and humbled that so many families have entrusted Home Helpers with the care of their loved ones,” said Sam Sellers, owner of Home Helpers of Little Rock.
“Our goal at Home Care Pulse is to empower home care businesses to reach their goals and deliver the best home care possible,” says Aaron Marcum, CEO and founder of Home Care Pulse. “We are happy to recognize Home Helpers as a Certified – Trusted Provider, and we applaud their commitment to client satisfaction.”
To find out more about the Home Care Pulse Certification, please visit BestofHomeCare.com.
About Home Care Pulse
Home Care Pulse is the industry’s leading firm in performance benchmarking and quality satisfaction management and serves hundreds of home care businesses across North America. They are the industry’s top resource for education, business development, certification, and proof of quality, including the prestigious Best of Home Care® awards. Visit www.homecarepulse.com to learn more about our VANTAGE program, or visit benchmarking.homecarepulse.com to learn about the Private Duty Benchmarking Study, the home care industry’s largest and most comprehensive annual study, featuring benchmarks on finance, sales, marketing, operations, and more.
About Home Helpers
Home Helpers of Little Rock serves the home care needs of older adults. Owner Sam Sellers of Little Rock serves on the Board of Directors of the HomeCare Association of Arkansas and as Chairman of the Board of Director for Alzheimer’s Arkansas. A published author (Finding Freedom at Home: The Ultimate Guide to Home Care), Sam is passionate about his service to older adults. Further information can be found on Home Helpers.
Nursing Home Insurance. That’s what Long Term Care insurance used to be commonly called. And it made sense. It was insurance that paid for care in a nursing home.
Times changed. More and more people practically shouted that Dorothy had it right in The Wizard of Oz – there’s no place like home.
The insurance companies heard it loud and clear. Policies started covering in-home care. Some policies unfairly pay more if you are relocated to a nursing home rather than receiving care in your home. Others simply look at the level of care received regardless the location.
If you have a loved one with Long Term Care insurance and together you are making decisions about where care will be received, you should know the ins and outs of the policy.
Before I go further I want to be clear. I am neither an insurance agent nor a financial planner. To the contrary, I own an in-home senior care agency. I’ve seen scores of Long Term Care insurance policies and have served a great number of people whose insurance pays for the service. In any event, none of what I offer should be mistakenly taken as insurance or financial advice but only as important information from a knowledgeable service provider.
There are three key components to every Long Term Care insurance policy that could be of great importance to you and are the areas where I receive the most questions. Briefly, these include:
Elimination Period — The “deductible” in a Long Term Care insurance policy is represented by a period of time – an Elimination Period. The time period could be 30 days, 60 days, or 90 days, for instance. Some policies have immediate benefits without Elimination Periods, but you can be assured that you have paid for this through your premium. During the Elimination Period, the insured is responsible for paying for services provided. Once a claim has been established, the clock starts and every day served is counted against the days of your Elimination Period. For simplicity sake, I refer to the Elimination Period as your deductible.
Daily/Weekly or Monthly Benefit — The policy benefit is defined as an amount of money available for approved services. The benefit may be defined by daily, weekly or monthly dollar figures, (e.g., $100/day or $3,500/month). This aspect of the policy is important for budgeting reasons. My recommendation is always to have a Plan of Care tailored, determine what service schedule will fully meet the needs, and then calculate what the charges will be. From that, you can determine what amount will be covered by your policy and what part, if any, exceeds that amount that you will be responsible for paying.
Lifetime Maximum Benefit — The total amount the insurance company will pay is your Lifetime Maximum Benefit. In most every case, there is a limit, but in some cases, there is not. Like you Daily/Weekly or Monthly Benefit, this figure can help determine how long in-home care will be paid.
Home Helpers of Little Rock owner Sam Sellers has been elected Chairman of the Board of Directors of Alzheimer’s Arkansas.
Home Helpers empowers older adults to remain as independent as possible in the setting of their choice, providing in-home senior care. Sellers has owned Home Helpers of Little Rock for over eight years. Prior to this, he served as Associate State Director of AARP Arkansas.
A published author (Finding Freedom at Home: The Ultimate Guide to Home Care), Sellers is a Certified Alzheimer’s Educator. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Home Care Association of Arkansas, the Home Helpers Innovation Council and Platinum Group of Owners. His agency is one of only a handful recognized as a Certified Training Center for other Home Helpers agency owners. His home care agency has been recognized nationally with a number of awards. A combat veteran of both Afghanistan and Iraq, Sellers has been awarded two Bronze Star Medals and both Valorous Unit and Presidential Unit Citations.
“I consider it a great honor to serve Alzheimer’s Arkansas and the many families they serve in the capacity of Chairman of the Board,” Sellers said. “The board is composed of some of the most marvelous people who have tremendous passion for those family caregivers with a loved one living with Alzheimer’s. I’m humbled and honored to lead the Board as we seek to provide even greater service to even more people across the state of Arkansas.”
Alzheimer’s Arkansas Programs and Services was first incorporated in 1984 as the “Alzheimer’s Support Group of Central Arkansas,” with the purpose of providing information and support to persons with dementia and their caregivers. Later, the group of volunteer leaders joined the National Alzheimer’s Association.
In 2002, the Association’s restructuring of chapters would have required us to move our headquarters to Oklahoma. Rather than allow our leadership and our funds to go out of state, our Board of Directors elected to disaffiliate from the National Association to become Alzheimer’s Arkansas Programs and Services.
The important thing to know is that Alzheimer’s Arkansas is now an independent non-profit organization dedicated to Supporting Arkansas families affected by any kind of dementia. The funds that we raise are used solely for services to Arkansas families. Our volunteer Board of Directors is composed of local community members, our services are free and our funds are spent ONLY in Arkansas.
As most of you know, Alzheimer’s Arkansas’ primary goal is taking care of Arkansas families who are affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. While our office is in Little Rock, we travel all across the state to reach families who need our information and support. We are always looking for ways to increase our outreach.
Alzheimer’s Arkansas’ mission is to provide the information and support needed so that all Arkansans affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias are able to live with dignity and comfort until a cure is found.
Our programs and services include:
- Toll-free 24-hour telephone support for caregivers
- Family support groups
- Early stage patient support groups
- Family education sessions
- In-service training for professional caregivers
- Community awareness presentations
- Every other month newsletter for our members
- Public policy advocates
- Financial assistance for caregivers
- A lending library of printed and video materials
- File of Life Program
The goal of home care is to help people maintain and maximize their independence.
Ideally, it should facilitate a person being able to remain as independent as possible for as long as possible in the setting of their choice – their home.
Clearly, independence can mean different things in different circumstances. To a person recovering from a hip replacement, independence might mean something entirely different from someone living in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. No two situations are exactly the same, and while the degree or nature of independence can vary widely, home care should be an empowering service.
Ms. Betty’s Story
Betty, an active older woman, enjoyed playing Bridge with her friends and frequently held dinner parties in her home. She suffered a stroke, fell and injured her knee. After rehabilitation, Betty was unable to drive and was in no position to prepare for gatherings in her home. Home care services empowered her to continue participating in her favorite activities. In addition to personal care, she found value in other services including transportation and assistance around the home.
Oscar and Vera’s Story
Oscar and Vera had lived in their home for over forty years. They could not imagine living anywhere else. Vera was in the middle stages of Alzheimer’s and Oscar had mobility issues. A home care strategy was tailored that enabled them to continue living in their home. Personal care, meal preparation, housekeeping, transportation, and a host of other services were included in their care. Because of home care, they remained in their home safely and with every need fulfilled until Oscar’s final breath. Though their basic needs would have been addressed in a skilled nursing facility, it is unlikely that this couple would have responded as well to the regimented lifestyle and loss of independence.
Beyond the person being served, home care should also be carefully tailored to empower family and friends of the person being served. Perhaps home care service enables family time to be quality time rather than time spent changing light bulbs and doing grocery shopping. Home care could provide the emotional relief that comes from knowing your parent is being cared for by professional and compassionate caregivers.
Katherine’s family lived out-of-state. Their goal was to move her closer to them. In the months leading to that move, the family was empowered to be worry-free. Medical appointments were scheduled and transportation there and back was provided. Each day, a brief summary was written and emailed to family members. Within a week, her son responded with how thankful he was that he could focus on the impending move, free of anxiety about his mother’s well-being.
Even when the basic needs of your loved one are addressed through home care, the service is not complete until you feel at ease with the arrangements. You’ll recognize when you have received the highest quality home care when you no longer spend sleepless nights worrying about your parent’s care.
Health care providers are better situated to provide the best care when they have, as Paul Harvey used to say, “the rest of the story.” The best home care providers take daily care notes to document care. Doctors and psychologists report that having this documentation from a trained caregiver can be quite valuable.
We noted that Evelyn was showing significant memory issues over several weeks. The nearest adult child was out-of-state. Seeing our care notes, he requested we schedule an appointment with her family doctor. Her regular caregiver accompanied her to the appointment. When the doctor asked about the purpose of the visit, the patient could not remember. Had our caregiver not been there, she could easily have been given a quick look-over and sent home. Instead, the caregiver mentioned the patient’s observed memory issues and the physician ordered a cognitive screening. In a very real sense, home care empowered this physician to fully address the needs of this woman.
We received a call from Rebecca, who was juggling many balls at once. She and her husband both worked full-time and were both engaged in volunteer activity. They had two boys, aged 12 and 14. One played soccer and another was in the Boy Scouts. Both enjoyed the playroom that had grown with them through the years. This was one busy family.
Rebecca was primarily interested in my experience with and thoughts about a few different assisted living facilities. I could tell she’d already made the decision to utilize one of them. I shared my thoughts on two I would recommend and another I could not. I asked how much her mother was involved in the selection and whether they had taken her to visit, and was shocked by Rebecca’s response. She had never asked!
Rebecca assumed that her mother would never entertain the notion of living with her and that it would create such a major upheaval in her family’s life that it just wasn’t worth considering. I offered to meet with the family to provide an in-person review of the facilities she was exploring and to talk a little about some of the families we serve.
Like many of those we serve, Rebecca was eager to arrange a family meeting with everyone present. To Rebecca’s surprise, her mother truly wanted to be invited into her daughter’s home to live. And her sons were the ones to offer their playroom as their grandmother’s bedroom.
As the wheels started turning in all of their minds, I shifted gears to start helping them navigate these waters. The new extended family unit felt fully empowered because they fully controlled every decision.
Rebecca expressed great relief that we were helping her mother and, though she made some adjustments in her activities, she felt like she had re-balanced her life to better reflect her values and beliefs. Because the boys had relinquished their playroom, they wanted to play a role in helping get their grandmother situated with her familiar furniture and decor. We involved everyone and even if tempers flared from time to time, everyone played a vital role.
During the transition period, we recommended an appointment with a respected geriatrician who became the new primary care physician.
In reviewing everyone’s schedule and the various needs for assistance, we agreed on a service schedule that seemed to make everyone’s life easier.
Rebecca’s mother lived with them for almost three years before passing away. There were challenging times when Rebecca would second-guess her decision. However, I recently received a handwritten letter from her saying, “these were the best years of my life and, I think, my mother’s too.” She thanked us for providing the services and supports necessary to make it a reality. Though there was no way she could have known about this book, she thanked us for “empowering my family to do what we didn’t think we could do. During difficult times, the Lord always sends angels to help along the way and that’s what I think of when I think of (your company).”
The goal of home care is empowerment. We believe Dorothy had it right in The Wizard of Oz, “There’s no place like home.” Remaining there can be empowering to the person being served, their family and friends, and the healthcare professionals associated with their care.
Sam Sellers, CAEd, is the owner and President of Home Helpers of Little Rock. A recognized expert in aging issues, Sam is passionate about empowering older adults to remain as independent as possible in the setting of their choice. Questions or comments should be directed to Sam at S.Sellers@HomeHelpersHomeCare.com.
“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
~ T. S. Elliot
When an older loved one is in need of care as a result of injury or illness, the responsibility typically falls on a family member. The statistics are nothing short of staggering. 43.5 million people care for a loved one over the age of 50 and close to 15 million people care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or other dementias.
Family caregivers are heroes. They selflessly give of themselves. But, they often pay the price emotionally and physically.
While each situation is unique, these caregivers can easily find themselves assuming responsibility for a great number of responsibilities. A daughter might find herself assisting with baths, helping her loved one in and out of bed, getting dressed, toileting, shopping and running errands, and doing housekeeping. To be sure, the demands can be overwhelming, particularly when you are juggling these responsibilities with your family, career and other obligations.
A common call we get goes something like this – I go to work late, take long lunch breaks and often leave early. I’ve burned up all of my vacation and just simply cannot do it anymore. These are very real concerns.
A recent study by the AARP Public Policy Institute and the National Alliance for Caregiving revealed that 22 percent of caregivers felt their health had gotten worse because of caregiving. The study also found that nearly one in five caregivers (19 percent) reported a high level of physical strain resulting from caregiving, while 38 percent considered their caregiving situation to be emotionally stressful.
What’s worse still is that often times, an adult child feels like there is no alternative other than providing care themselves. In those cases, the stress levels are even higher with 53 percent reporting “high levels of emotional stress.”
The holiday season can exacerbate caregiver stress so particular attention should be given to care for the caregiver.
Sometimes the caregiver just needs a break. There is the office holiday party and daughter’s Christmas concert, or just shopping, free of worries associated with your loved one. Seek out a reputable and experienced agency and give yourself a break. That’s the advice I give every family caregiver. I see the challenges they face and I know the price paid when the caregiver’s care is lacking.
Home Helpers home care empowers older adults to remain in the comfort of their home, assisting with a full range of senior care services. Home Helpers of Little Rock president Sam Sellers is a Certified Alzheimer’s Educator who serves on the Board of Directors for Alzheimer’s Arkansas. He is a published author (Finding Freedom at Home: The Ultimate Guide to Home Care) and mentor to home care agency owners nationally.
There really is no place like home. Dorothy had it right in The Wizard of Oz. But, we often see confusion about Long Term Care insurance and you may very well have a benefit that will pay for home care services.
Decisions about home care – sometimes referred to as senior care or elder care – for a loved-one can be overwhelming. What is the best care setting? Who do I turn to for advice? Can I afford the services? Added to the complexity of navigating the long term care system is often a great urgency due to sudden or unexpected changes in situations. Compound these considerations with the fact that most family caregivers are balancing work obligations and family responsibilities.
Having reliable, unbiased and timely information is critical as decisions about long term care are made. Sadly, there are many “myths” associated with in-home care. While some are partially true, others are just simply not true. When considering care options for a loved one, it is important that you know the facts about in-home care.
Myth: Long Term Care insurance will NOT pay for in-home care. Those policies ONLY pay for nursing home care.
Facts: Long Term Care insurance OFTEN pays for in-home care. While some older policies might not pay, and some might pay only a fraction of what the benefit might otherwise be in an institutional setting, most policies have an in-home care option.
Long Term Care insurance can be confusing. “Deductibles” are measured in time and called “elimination periods.” Premiums can seem exorbitant until you look at the costs of long term care services; often a whole year’s worth of premiums can be recouped in only one month of service once a qualifying claim has been filed. It is essential to have an experienced agent guide you through selection of an appropriate policy. We can make referrals in that area, but that is not what this article is about.
Some of the earlier policies were designed to exclusively pay for nursing home care and there are some policies still sold that only offer nursing home benefits. As demand increased and popularity grew, many insurance companies adjusted and even created new policies that provide for in-home care. Now, it is practically the rule to include home care as the preferred option.
Typically, the same criteria must be met to trigger benefits, that is, the need for assistance with two Activities of Daily Living (or ADLs), such as bathing, dressing, feeding, transferring, walking, or toileting. There is also usually a cognitive trigger that includes those with Alzheimer’s disease or other related dementias. These benefit triggers are typically the same whether the person is receiving care in a skilled nursing facility or at home.
There are cases where the daily benefit for someone receiving care at home is less than the rate paid to a skilled nursing facility. Again, this is mostly with older policies or those that simply do not reflect where the vast majority of people choose to age – their home.
Talk to your insurance agent and contact the claims department of your insurance carrier. They will assist through the claims process and be able to provide you with information regarding benefits. You can also contact us to discuss the policy benefits and desires and values of the person to receive care. Home Helpers Home Care has served scores of individuals with Long Term Care insurance, and we are always more than happy to help you navigate through this process.
See below how to get a FREE copy of Finding Freedom at Home…
For an older adult, when assistance is required with any of life’s daily activities, remaining in your home can be a little scary. To be sure, remaining in your home can be a challenge if not addressed in the right way.
However, staying in your home, with appropriate services and supports, can also be truly empowering.
- Home care can often empower the person receiving care to remain as independent as possible in the setting of their choice enjoying the quality of life they desire.
- Home care empowers family and friends. With greater freedom from daily concerns, family members’ time with their parent can be transformed into quality time.
- Home care empowers health care professionals by providing recorded notes and an objective perspective on their patient’s condition. This can prove invaluable to those tasked with the ongoing evaluation of their patient’s individual treatment plans.
Having spoken before scores of professional groups and visited with countless families, my experience is that people can get overwhelmed as they attempt to navigate the waters of home care.
What is available in the city where my parent lives? What is “appropriate” care and what is the most suitable care setting? Is it even feasible for mom to stay at home? What about MY home? How do we pay for home care? Who do I even ask?
Finding Freedom at Home answers these questions and more.
I wrote this book initially as a resource for the many people I counsel and whose parents are in need of assistance. Since the initial publication, I have received hand-written notes from people from New York to California thanking me for answering their questions and putting them on solid footing to seek the best care possible.
I have been overwhelmed with the response and humbled by how Finding Freedom at Home has touched so many lives.
For a very limited time, I’d like to send you a FREE copy of my book. The on
ly thing you have to do is…tell me where to mail it. Just click here and tell me where and we’ll have it in the mail to you today.
Back when your parents were younger, the notion was of a “continuum of care” that meant, when you reached a certain point, you moved into an assisted living facility. When you declined a little more, you were moved into a nursing home.
Older adults do NOT have to be relocated, or worse, institutionalized when they need assistance. They do NOT necessarily need to move from their home of 30+ years because they have undergone a procedure or suffered an injury.
Home Helpers’ mission is to empower older adults to live as independently as possible in the setting of their choice. This setting could be an independent or assisted living facility, in your home, or their own home where they have lived independently for decades. In 2014, there are few reasons why someone should be institutionalized if that is not their desire.
Contact Home Helpers and see how we can tailor a plan to make life easier for older adults in need of assistance in order to remain as independent as possible in the setting of their choice.
There are several issues why someone – regardless of age – should no longer drive. These might include poor vision, limited flexibility or mobility, certain chronic conditions, medications taken and dementia. There are also a number of signs that driving may no longer be wise, including at-fault accidents, getting lost on familiar roads, drifting into other lanes, inability to drive the speed limit, etc.
The difficult part is not identifying unsafe driving skills or conditions that might make driving unwise. The challenge is in convincing your loved one that they should not drive.
I’ve said many times that outside of NASCAR fans, the frustration (and range of other emotions) has little to do with an inability to drive. Rather, the emotions arise out of a perceived loss of independence.
In Finding Freedom at Home: The Ultimate Guide to Home Care, I discuss these issues and offer some suggestions on how to talk with your loved one about it in a respectful way. We would be happy to send a copy of our book to anyone who is facing this issue with a loved one.
“Americans are broad-minded people. They’ll accept the fact that a person can be an alcoholic, a dope fiend, a wife beater, and even a newspaperman, but if a man doesn’t drive, there is something wrong with him.”
Over the years, Home Helpers has served and counseled countless families. While no two situations are exactly the same, we’ve discovered some a few issues that are, more times than not, to be expected.
Oh! I want to share a quick note of encouragement for those who are only children. Don’t worry. Even if your parents had a dozen children, there is typically one who has or is given responsibility of care and housing when a parent is in need.
So, we see three types of people. Many times, a family will have all three. See if you can identify with any of these people.
Pigeons – You know you have a pigeon as a sibling if they swoop into town, second-guess every decision you’ve made, and every action you’ve taken, issue proclamations about the way things should be handled, and then fly back home. In short, pigeons come and leave what pigeons do on the ground and, just like pigeons, they fly away with little concern over the mess they’ve created.
Bears – For bears, it is perpetually wintertime and they will do what bears do – hibernate. These are the people who, whether local or not, cannot accept the situation with their parent. They are in denial, sometimes in spite of overwhelming evidence that refutes their position.
Turtles – Turtles are, you guessed it, slow moving. They are slow in recognizing a need for assistance, and sometimes slower in acting on the need. They want a complete road map, including hotels to stay in and sights to see on their summer vacation next year. They want to know where the road is leading and what is around the bend.
I had a beautifully written note for you today that included snippets about Justin Bieber’s arrest, Taylor Swift’s reaction to NOT winning album of the year, Super Bowl Sunday, and even the President’s State of the Union.
Then, I went to introduce one of our caregivers to a new client and I knew I had to change things up. In order to protect the identity of both the caregiver and client, let’s call the caregiver “Lisa” and the client “Mr. Bob.”
Mr. Bob is dying of cancer. He’s on hospice and recently went home from a local facility. People of great faith, Mr. Bob’s wife and son said that although he really wanted to be home and they had made the decision and brought him home, they weren’t sure they made the right decision.
Mrs. Bob was clearly wrestling with her decision. She knew as well as any of us that it meant Mr. Bob would be spending his final days at home and that brought both comfort and some fear. I could see it in her eyes and hear it in her voice.
Lisa is a great caregiver. She’s been with Home Helpers for many years. After covering Mr. Bob with his favorite quilt, she did as good a job as I’ve ever heard from even the most experienced counselors.
Lisa told the family that she used to work in a skilled nursing facility. In fact, she was proud of the facility she worked at and bragged on their staff. But then she waved her hand around the living room and said that even though it was a great place, it could never compete with home. She moved over to Mrs. Bob and, grabbing her hand, told her that we would do this together and that we’d do it with dignity and honor.
Clearly moved, Mrs. Bob turned to her son and said, “The Lord’s hand was in this. We made the right call.”
We don’t second guess the care or housing options families choose. But in this case, we have a strong sense of responsibility to demonstrate to this family that they did indeed make the right choice. Whatever time Mr. Bob has left, Home Helpers will do everything we can to honor his wishes and make both his and his family’s life easier. We’ll be there as he crosses is life’s finish line with, as Lisa said, with dignity and honor.
Finding Freedom at Home: The Ultimate Guide to Home Care is a new resource for families who are exploring home care options for an aging parent.
Written by home care expert Sam Sellers, “Finding Freedom at Home” will serve as a saving grace to the millions of adults exploring care and living assistance options for their aging parents. While institutionalization was once commonplace, the book proves how modern home care options can be the most sensible, dignified and empowering choice.