Home Health Care vs Nursing Home Care: How Much Does Each Cost?

Making the decision about whether to enroll your loved one in a nursing home, or whether to get them home health care is tough. There are many different factors to consider; from the quality of care to how much it would cost.

While we agree that no amount is too much to pay for the care of aged loved ones, we also believe the cost should not create a financial burden on you. In this post, we’ll be taking a look at the difference in cost between nursing home care and homecare.

Effective from April 1, 2017, the penalty divisor for the State of New Jersey increased from $332.50 to $423.95. In simpler words, this means the average daily cost of nursing home services is now $423.95. As recently as 2013 (when the average cost was about $300), New Jersey’s nursing home residents paid the sixth highest amount in the country. This ranking has mostly likely gone up in the wake of the latest average cost.

Compare that to the $220-$260 average cost of home health care in the state, which ranks 18th in the entire country, ranking just below Arizona.

What does this mean for you? It means when making the decision on what type of care to get your aged loved ones, it can be a pretty smart idea to consider home health care. It saves you quite a lot of money, and gives you just as much quality of care as they would get in a nursing home.

If you would like more information on this topic, or any other relating to home health care for you or your loved ones, and how Elite Home Care can help, you can get in touch with us through our Contact Us page, and we will be more than happy to help.

 

ELITE HOMECARE, LLC ACHIEVES ACCREDITATION WITH ACHC

ELITE HOMECARE, LLC

ACHIEVES ACCREDITATION WITH ACHC.

NORTH BRUNSWICK, NJ, ELITE HOMECARE, LLC proudly announces its approval of accreditation status by Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC) for the services of private duty nursing, private duty aides service, private duty companion/home maker services.

Achieving accreditation is a process where healthcare organizations demonstrate compliance with national standards. Accreditation by ACHC reflects an organization’s dedication and commitment to meeting standards that facilitate a higher level of performance and patient care.

ACHC is a not-for-profit organization that has stood as a symbol of quality and excellence since 1986. ACHC is ISO 9001:2008 certified and has CMS Deeming Authority for Home Health, Hospice and DMEPOS.

Elite HomeCare is a family owned business. It is run by a Registered nurse. At Elite HomeCare we are dedicated to providing the highest quality of care in the Home Health Care Profession. We are a licensed, bonded and insured home health care agency serving Middlesex, Mercer, Somerset, Union and Essex counties and the surrounding areas. Our Partnership approach to elderly care ensures your loved one’s needs are always first and foremost in our minds. Elite HomeCare worked tirelessly and effectively to get our ACHC accreditation and we are proud and pleased of our accreditation status.

For more information, please visit  www.theelitehomecare.com, or contact us at [email protected] or (732) 964-0062.

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The 3 Things to Know Before Hiring a Home Health Aide

We already established in previous posts that deciding on whether or not to go for home health care is tough. It’s a decision that requires a lot of thought. Unfortunately, most people who require the services, either for themselves or their loved ones, do not know very much about hiring a home health aide or home care agency.

In this post, we will be looking at three important things you need to know should you ever need a home health care provider.

1. The first thing you need to know is whether or not you need home health care in the first place. This seems like a simple enough question, but the truth is most people don’t really know. A home health aide will provide personal care for you at home, but will not provide medical care services. If you need help with minor household assistance such as cooking, running minor errands, or even companionship, then you should consider the services of a homemaker (or personal care assistant) instead.

2. Once you have determined that a home health aide/ agency /care provider is what you need. Congratulations. The next step will be, figuring out which agency, there are hundreds upon hundreds of licensed home health care agencies in New Jersey along (thousands all over the US). The next question is how do you decide on which one to choose. You should probably start with making sure they, at the very least, meet all of the licensing laws of the State you’re in. Also, make sure they have an agreement for services you can sign before they start working. A few years of experience wouldn’t hurt as well.

3. Money! Make sure you have enough. As we’ve discussed in a previous post, Medicare will not pay for certain home health care services. So, if your needs do not meet the Medicare eligibility criteria, you’re going to have to be paying out of pocket, and depending on the services you’re getting, and the agency providing them, these costs can vary. So, before you start, make sure you have enough coverage.

Before we conclude, it would not be right of us if we don’t mention that Elite HomeCare is a licensed, Insured and bonded home health care agency in New Jersey. Our care providers are well trained and experienced, and our rates won’t have you breaking the bank.

If you want to learn more about how we can be of service to you, or if you just have any questions about home health care, you can give us a call on (732) 964-0062. Or you could just send us an email at [email protected] We would love to hear from you.

#home care, #in home care, #caregivers, #homecare, #home health care, #elder care, #caregivers, #senior care, #care home, #care agencies, #home healthcare, #home care services

Home Health Care vs Nursing Home Care: How Much Does Each Cost?

Making the decision about whether to enroll your loved one in a nursing home, or whether to get them home health care is tough. There are many different factors to consider; from the quality of care to how much it would cost. While we agree that no amount is too much to pay for the care of aged loved ones, we also believe the cost should not create a financial burden on you. In this post, we’ll be taking a look at the difference in cost between nursing home care and homecare.

Effective from April 1, 2017, the penalty divisor for the State of New Jersey increased from $332.50 to $423.95. In simpler words, this means the average daily cost of nursing home services is now $423.95. As recently as 2013 (when the average cost was about $300), New Jersey’s nursing home residents paid the sixth highest amount in the country. This ranking has mostly likely gone up in the wake of the latest average cost.

Compare that to the $220-$260 average cost of home health care in the state, which ranks 18th in the entire country, ranking just below Arizona.

What does this mean for you? It means when making the decision on what type of care to get your aged loved ones, it can be a pretty smart idea to consider home health care. It saves you quite a lot of money, and gives you just as much quality of care as they would get in a nursing home.

If you would like more information on this topic, or any other relating to home health care for you or your loved ones, and how Elite Home Care can help, you can get in touch with us through our Contact Us page, and we will be more than happy to help.

 

What types of home health care will Medicare pay for?

Last time out, we took a look at the four conditions under which Medicare will help pay for  your loved one’s home health care services. We established that the recipient must be considered homebound; needs skilled nursing care or skilled therapy services as often as once every 60 days, or as much as once daily for up to three weeks; is receiving care at a Medicare-certified home health agency; or if your doctor signs a home health certification stating that you qualify for Medicare home care because you are homebound and need intermittent skilled care.

In this post, we will be taking a look at those types of home health care services Medicare will help pay for, and those it won’t pay for.

First, let’s take a look at those types of care Medicare will pay for:

  • Skilled nursing services and home health services provided for up to seven days a week for no more than eight hours per day and 28 hours per week (Medicare can cover up to 35 hours in unusual cases).
  • Medicare pays in full for skilled nursing care, including services that can only be performed effectively by a licensed nurse. Injections (and teaching patients to self-inject), tube feedings, catheter changes, observation and assessment of a patient’s condition, management and evaluation of a patient’s care plan, and wound care are some examples.
  • Medicare will also make full payment if you require the services of a skilled home health aide who provides personal care services like help with bathing, using the toilet, and dressing. If personal care is the only thing you require, you don’t qualify for Medicare home care benefit.
  • Skilled therapy services such as physical, speech and occupational therapy services that can only be performed safely by or supervised by a licensed therapist, and that are necessary for treating your illness or injury.
  • Medicare pays in full for medical social services ordered by your doctor to help with social and emotional concerns related to your illness. This might include counseling or help finding resources in your community.
  • Medicare will also make full payment for medical supplies like wound dressings provided by a Medicare-certified home health agency.

Now, let’s take a look at those types of care Medicare will not cover:

  • If you require 24-hour care at home, Medicare is not likely to cover the full cost of your care.
  • Medicare will also not pay for prescription drugs. To get Medicare drug coverage, you need to enroll in a Medicare Part D plan. There are two options available (stand-alone Medicare private drug plan (PDP), and Medicare Advantage Plan with Part D coverage (MADP).
  • All meals delivered to you at home and homemaker or custodial care services (i.e. cooking, shopping, laundry).
  • Unless custodial care is part of the skilled nursing and/or skilled therapy services you receive from a home health aide or other personal care attendant.

Medicare Can Cover the Cost of your Home Health Care. Here’s How.

In a previous post, we looked at certain questions that should be asked when considering home health care service in New Jersey. One of those questions was how much it would cost. A lot of people are not aware of the full range of options available to them to help pay for Home Health Care Services. Beyond what a loved one can afford from savings and income, a variety of options can be explored. Reverse mortgages, life and long term care insurance policies as well as Medicare and Medicaid are some of many options that can be explored to cover the cost of care.

In this post, we will be looking at the requirements of Medicare as a way of payment for home health care services.

Like most federal programs, to qualify for Medicare as a source of paying for your home health services, certain conditions must be met, including being homebound, need for skilled care, and for how long, a doctor’s order and the use of a Medicare certified Home Health agency.

HOMEBOUND

If you or your loved one is considered homebound, you are entitled to having Medicare pay for your home health care. To be considered homebound, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You need the help of another person or special equipment (wheelchair, walker, etc.) to leave your house, or your doctor believes that leaving your house would be harmful to your health.
  • If you find it difficult to leave your home and typically cannot do so.

SKILLED NURSING.

If you or your loved one needs skilled care, including skilled nursing care or skilled therapy services (physical, speech or occupational) as often as once every 60 days, or as much as once daily for up to three weeks.

DOCTOR’S ORDER

Also, you qualify if your doctor signs a home health certification stating that you qualify for Medicare home care because you are homebound and need intermittent skilled care. The certification must also say that a plan of care has been made for you, and that a doctor regularly reviews it. Usually, the certification and plan of care are combined in one form that is signed by your doctor and submitted to Medicare.

  • As part of the certification, doctors must also confirm that they (or certain other providers, such as nurse practitioners) have had a face-to-face meeting with you related to the main reason you need home care within 90 days of starting to receive home health care or within 30 days after you have already started receiving home health care. Your doctor must specifically state that the face-to-face meeting confirmed that you are homebound and qualify for intermittent skilled care.
  • The face-to-face encounter can also be done through tele health. In certain areas, Medicare will cover examinations done for you in specific places (doctors offices, hospitals, health clinics, skilled nursing facilities) using telecommunications (such as video conferencing).

AGENCY

If you or your loved one is receiving your care at a Medicare-certified home health agency (HHA).

Please note, if you only need occupational therapy, you will not qualify for the Medicare home health benefit. However, if you qualify for Medicare coverage of home health care on another basis, you can also get occupational therapy. Even when your other needs for Medicare home health end, you should still be able to get occupational therapy under the Medicare home health benefit if you still need it.

If you have any further questions about todays post, or you want to get to know more about what we do and how Elite Home Care can help, you can get in touch with us through our Contact Us page, we will be more than glad to be of assistance.

In our next post, we will be looking at the types of home health care services that Medicare will pay for, and services it does not cover.

Written by Elite HomeCare’s Admin

 

Professional Elderly Home Care Services: The Need of Modern Times

In recent times, most adult children with aged parents face an ever increasing and multifaceted challenge when their parents enter their golden years. This becomes particularly evident when they may also have to deal with other medical conditions, or even the unfortunate passing away of one parent especially if they were the primary caregiver for the couple. Also noteworthy is the push towards reduced length of stay at hospitals by most insurance companies, as well as the growing trend with the baby boomer generation to stay in their own homes, as against the traditional notion of nursing homes.  The question then arises as to how best to care for them while helping them maintain their privacy and dignity all in the comfort of their homes.

Professional elderly home care services are modern responses to these challenges as they aim to provide the best possible care for not just the elderly, but for the whole family unit in the comfort of their homes. Licensed and regulated to ensure adequate consumer protection, industry professionalism and standards, home health care services caring for seniors is fast becoming the main stay of our modern society.

Home care service providers take all the necessary steps to ensure your loved ones are properly cared for at home. From simple everyday activities like bathing, dressing, meal preparation, laundry, housekeeping, shopping, doctors’ appointments, to more professional services like assessments, medication and disease management and to something as simple, but very important as providing companionship to clients. The introduction of respite care also tries to solve the challenge of sometimes overburdened care givers, giving them time to relax and recharge away from the altruistic but sometimes challenging task of caring for a loved one. Working with your doctor(s) and family members, the flexibility of the process allows you to customize your care; activities and hours of the day, to meet your exact need and budget, cutting waste and allowing for conservative and effective use of resources.

 So, what are you waiting for? Contact the professional care team today and get the advantage of best home care agencies or services for your loved ones as they deserve nothing but the best. 

Should you have any questions regarding this post and or our services please click on the contact us page or make a comment below and someone from our team will reach out to you shortly.

Written by Elite HomeCare Admin

Via: www.theelitehomecare.com/blog

What is the Sandwich Generation?

Tackling both elder care and childcare at once requires fortitude and patience. Despite the tremendous pressures faced by those with these dual obligations, millions of Americans have assumed this admirable role. Learn more about these caregivers who are a part of the Sandwich Generation.What is the Sandwich Generation?

Sandwich Generation Caregivers

Even if you’ve never heard the phrase “sandwich generation,” chances are fairly good that if you’re reading this article, the term describes you.

In the United States, from 1900-2000, life expectancy increased from 47-76 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Since humans are living longer, the 21st century has produced a large population of older adults, creating a need for more caregivers.

Family members, predominantly female family members, have provided the majority of care to their aging loved ones. Today, there is a generation of middle-aged adults, known as the Sandwich Generation, who are caught between the demands of child rearing in addition to providing care to their aging parents for these reasons:

  • Delayed parenting – A new norm in today’s society of couples starting families in their mid-to late-30s
  • Increased life span – People are living longer in the 21st century as a result of better healthcare and technology

Sandwich Generation Defined

Sandwich generationis a term that seems extremely accurate and descriptive once you understand the context for which it’s used. So what exactly does the term mean?

The sandwich generation is a generation of people who care for their aging parents while supporting their own children.

Social worker Dorothy Miller created the term “sandwich generation” back in 1981, and was originally referring to younger women in their 30s-40s who were taking care of both their children and parents. Then, journalist Carol Abaya continued to study and expose what the term means as America ages in present day.

Abaya breaks down the sandwich generation scenarios even further:

  1. Traditional: Those sandwiched between aging parents who need care and/or help and their own children.
  2. Club Sandwich: Those in their 50s-60s sandwiched between aging parents, adult children and grandchildren, or those in their 30s-40s, with young children, aging parents and grandparents.
  3. Open Faced: Anyone else involved in elder care.

Merriam-Webster and Oxford English officially added the term to their dictionaries in 2006, since the role has become even more commonplace and recognized across mainstream culture. So while sandwich generation caregiver may sound like a quirky word, the trend is becoming a phenomenon in aging America.

Sandwich Generation Characteristics

There are many emotions that go along with being a sandwich generation caregiver as stress, financial burden and burnout can be part of the job. However, there is a flip side of optimism for those with the title. In fact, Pew Research reports that of the caregivers who look after both their kids and their aging parents, “31% report being very happy with their lives, and an additional 52% say they are pretty happy.” Happiness rates are nearly the same among adults who are not part of the sandwich generation as “28% are very happy, and 51% are pretty happy.”

These statistics show that, in some cases, having both children and aging parents in the house can foster closer family bonds between the generations. It’s common for people to feel a greater sense of self worth and accomplishment when providing for their loved ones.

But, Pew Research also notes that adults who are part of the sandwich generation — specifically, those who have a living parent age 65 or older and are either raising a child under age 18 or supporting a grown child — are pulled in many directions. Not only do many provide care and financial support to their parents and their children, but nearly 38% say both their grown children and their parents rely on them for emotional support.

Sandwich Generation Demographic

Caring for an aging parent is an immense challenge, and one of the most profound tasks we can take on in our lives. The same can be said about raising children. So who are the people who fill this heroic role?

The sandwich generation is full of people from many different backgrounds and ethnicities, but there are trends. Here are some of the demographics, according to the Census Bureau:

  • Sandwich generation members are mostly middle-aged, or between the ages of 40-59
  • 19% of the members are younger than 40, and 10% are age 60 and older
  • Men and women are both members, although the caregivers are predominantly women
  • Married adults are more likely than unmarried adults to be sandwiched between their children and parents: 36% of those who are married fall into this group and 13% of those who are unmarried fall into this group
  • More affluent adults, or those with annual household incomes of $100,000 or more, are more likely than less affluent adults to be in the sandwich generation: 43% of those with incomes of $100,000 or more are affected, compared to 25% of those with incomes between $30,000-$100,000 a year
  • Hispanics are the biggest ethnic population in the sandwich generation situation: 31% of Hispanic adults have a parent age 65 or older and a dependent child, whereas approximately 24% of whites and 21% of blacks are sandwich generation caregivers

Sandwich Generation Issues

Tackling both elder care and childcare at once is indeed impressive. But that doesn’t mean it hasn’t taken its toll on its sandwich generation caregivers. In fact, there are many sandwich generation issues to report. Some of the most common reported are the following:

  • Stress
  • Financial Hardship
  • Depression

Multigenerational caregivers experience high levels of stress, and many report simply not having enough time in the day to accomplish their multitude of responsibilities. Furthermore, Sandwich Generation members often see a negative impact on their careers and finances.

A survey sent out by A Place for Mom found that 23% of multigenerational caregivers would consider leaving their job all together, and a further 31% would attempt to reduce their hours, which can negatively impact salary. One caregiver, 41-year-old Kim Hunter, noted:

“Ten years ago, I would not have guessed my mother would live with us. We just didn’t think about what was down the road. The experience is equal parts challenging and rewarding. On one hand I am juggling work with the needs of both my mom and my kids, and it’s tough financially. On the flipside, my children are getting to know their grandma in a special way while I am getting to know my mom on a different, deeper level.”

Sandwich Generation Stress

Being a sandwich generation caregiver definitely requires a delicate balancing act, and stress is simply part of the job. Sandra Tsing Loh, author of “The Madwoman in the Volvo: My Year of Raging Hormones,” columnist for The Atlantic, and sandwich generation caregiver, discusses some of the challenges faced by sandwich generation caregivers:

“A lot of women I know, they have these amazing superpowers. When they’re on, they can do the work of ten people. The problem is, occasionally they hit the bottom of the wave, and wake up on Saturday morning without the strength to reach over for their reading glasses to read the paper.”

The constant multitasking can be exhausting for caregivers. As Loh points out, many of them are women are suffering from the triple-Ms, or “middle aged mothers in menopause,” when biologically women lose their nurturing hormones and no longer want to take care of people. It becomes physically exhausting and mentally challenging to maintain the balancing act, and stress is one of the byproducts.

Learning how to tackle stress is a necessity for sandwich generation caregivers, which is why it is crucial for caregivers to take care of themselves by getting help from a family member, hiring respite care, or having regular breaks from caregiving. Lowering the bar is crucial for survival. Loh notes, “If you can get through even a quarter of the items on the to-do list on a Monday morning, you’re amazing… It’s hard to ask for help sometimes, because you think you failed. You’re blaming yourself. It helps to have a friend you can call and say, ‘I am terrible, I am crying today, I don’t know what’s wrong with me,’ and have a real conversation with them. And a regular class or luncheon with friends is great to get your mind of responsibilities.”

Everyone needs a break. But sandwich generation caregivers need to remember to take care of themselves first, otherwise they are no good to their children or parents because they are suffering from burnout. Taking care of you first is the golden rule of caregiving. Sometimes seeing a family counselor, psychiatrist or doctor is necessary for those who are sandwich generation caregivers.

We have also compiled a list of helpful books for caregivers for helpful tips, insight and information.

Tackling Finances as a Sandwich Generation Caregiver

Members of the sandwich generation may not have anticipated being in the position of helping to provide for their elderly parents. Whether the recession, lack of financial planning, or a combination of factors affected your parents’ bank account, there are creative senior care funding options.

Selling the family home, using investments, re-budgeting or using Veterans’ or government aid are just a few of the ways to help finance senior care. Discover how to prioritize and plan family financing ahead of time, and get financial tips for sandwich generation caregivers. It’s important for sandwich generation caregivers to put themselves first and not sacrifice their own financial well being for their children or parents.

Sandwich Generation Statistics

As America ages, more and more people are becoming multi-generational caregivers. According to National Alliance for Caregiving, 9.3 million Americans are a part of the sandwich generation today, and that number is expected to exponentially increase over the next 20 years as the baby boomer population gets older.

Here are some other interesting statistics, courtesy of Pew Research Center, to better understand the sandwich generation:

  • Nearly half, or 47%, of adults in their 40s-50s have a parent age 65 or older and are either raising a young child or financially supporting a grown child (age 18 or older)
  • About one-in-seven middle-aged adults, or 15%, is providing financial support to both an aging parent and a child
  • Roughly half, or 48%, of adults ages 40-59 have provided some financial support to at least one grown child in the past year, with 27% providing the primary support
  • About one-in-five middle-aged adults, or 21%, have provided financial support to a parent age 65 or older in the past year
  • Among all adults with at least one parent age 65 or older, 30% say their parent or parents need help to handle their affairs or care for themselves
  • Among all adults with a living parent age 65 or older, 35% say that their parent or parents frequently rely on them for emotional support and 33% say their parents sometimes rely on them for emotional support

The statistics are proof that sandwich generation caregivers are an extraordinary group of people. Every caregiving situation and relationship is different and requires its own formula for day-to-day living.

Family support and financial planning are crucial for every sandwich generation caregiver. It’s important to reach out for help, when needed, and doctors, family counselors, psychiatrists and caregiving support groups are all excellent resources. A Place for Mom also has expert senior living advisors to answer a wide range of questions about elder care for each families’ unique situation.

What are some of the struggles you’ve faced as a sandwich generation caregiver? We’d love to hear your stories in the comments below.

What is the Sandwich Generation? posted by Dana Larsen

Via: a place for mom

 #TheEliteHomeCare, #EliteHomeCareLLC, #EliteHomeCareNJ, #EliteHomeCare, #Generatiion, #CareGivers, #Seniors, #AgingParents, #BestHomeCareAgencyinNJ, #ElderCare, #HomeHealthCare, #AgingAmerica, #HomeCare.

Valentine’s Crafts for Seniors in Assisted Living

Valentine's Crafts for Seniors in Assisted Living

Valentine’s Day is about celebrating love and friendship, and it’s the perfect opportunity to get seniors out and about, connected, and having fun together. A very real danger to seniors is loneliness and depression, especially during the colder months. These Valentine’s Day crafts and activities are ideal for seniors in assisted living facilities looking for a fun way to commemorate Valentine’s Day with their neighbors.

1. Homemade Cards for Servicemen

Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to share happy emotions and best wishes. While some seniors might be feeling lonely at this time of the year, connecting with other people can help reduce negative feelings. A great way to do just that is to create homemade cards for servicemen and women. Gather construction paper, glue sticks, magazine scraps, and other decorative craft items and let seniors create and sign cards for deployed servicemen. If you need a less intensive activity, consider purchasing premade cards in bulk and letting seniors simply sign and write a note. Organizations like Hugs for Soldiers make it easy to get the completed cards into the hands of members of the armed services far from home on Valentine’s Day.

2. Vintage Valentine’s Tea Party

Recent research has shown that creating an environment reminiscent of a senior’s past can help encourage conversations, memories, and positive emotions. Why not give your Valentine’s Day celebration a vintage theme and take residents back in time to very happy memories? Set the tone with some music from the era, and research some old-fashioned favorites for snacks, like petit fours, macaroons, and crustless finger sandwiches. Decorate with paper doilies and perhaps even borrow a nicer old-fashioned serving set. Encourage residents to wear a festive hat, or red clothing to help celebrate.

3. Deck the Halls

Now that the Christmas decorations have come down, you have a blank slate for decorating your facility’s shared areas, hallways, and residents’ doors. Gather up your interested seniors, put out some Valentine’s Day cookies, and let the crafting begin. The end result not only makes your facility look festive, but gives the participants a sense of pride every time they pass by their handmade decorations. Ideas include:

4. Gifts for Others

Seniors may be on limited budgets or unable to easily go out and shop for gifts. Give them the means to make small tokens for their loved ones or friends this Valentine’s Day. For example, small clean rocks can be painted for pocket-sized love rocks keepsakes or paperweights. Seniors may also enjoy making and giving the very useful gift of a Valentine’s Day bookmark, customizing it with small pieces of fabric and ribbon. A collection of leftover buttons make the perfect elements to create a button heart, glued to a small square of fabric, cardboard, or wood. With a little bit or preparation and some hands-on time, they can create a precious gift for the ones they love.

5. Pop-up Cards

From childhood all the way on up to our older years, Valentine’s Day cards are one of the most enduring of holiday traditions. This year, help your residents do something a little different with their Valentine’s Day cards. Any kids, grandkids, or other loved ones they want to write to will get a kick out of these pop-up cards.

6. Crepe-Paper Roses

Who doesn’t love roses? Real ones are nice, but they can get costly (especially in February) and will wilt eventually. Paper roses, on the other hand, can serve as pleasant decorations in your shared spaces throughout the entire month.

7. Floating Heart Backdrop

Add some hearts to your lobby or recreational areas with this floating heart backdrop. It’s colorful, whimsical, and easy to make – especially with a group of seniors to help out.

8. Lacy Votive Holder

Candles add such a nice ambience (and you can always go with the LED version for safety purposes). These lacy votive holders from Martha Stewart can add even more ambience to the candles, bring some extra color to the room, and add an aura of class to any space you put them in.

9. Felt Fortune Cookies

Everyone loves fortune cookies – most people less for the cookie part, and more for the fortune. These adorable felt fortune cookies double as both a nice decoration your residents can help make and a fun activity for Valentine’s Day. You can pass around a plate full of fortune cookies and see what the future has in store for your residents. Take some time to write up some fun fortunes for everyone. Here are some ideas you can borrow.

10. Valentine’s Bird Feeders

These Valentine’s Day bird feeders have the especially nice bonus of attracting some lovely birds to your community for everyone to see. They’re simple to make, fit in nicely with the Valentine’s Day theme and are a craft that even the Valentine’s Day cynics can get something out of. You can make some for the facility itself, and stock up on enough supplies for residents to make some as gifts for their loved ones as well.

11. Fabric Hearts

Finally, we have our fabric hearts craft. They’re small, but beautiful tokens your residents can hang onto after Valentine’s Day passes, or give out to loved ones as gifts.

Not everyone loves Valentine’s Day, but those that do will appreciate having a way to celebrate. Those who don’t normally get into the lovey spirit of the day may still appreciate some extra color in the facility or a few more birds stopping by outside.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Written by Kristen Hicks and Megan Hammons

Via: https://www.senioradvisor.com/blog/2016/02/valentines-crafts-for-seniors-in-assisted-living/

6 HEALTHY SKIN CARE TIPS FOR OLDER WOMEN

Healthy-Skin-Tips-for-Women-Over-60

Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate! This is just one of many skin care tips for older women that we like to follow. Others swear by coconut oil or argan oil, a celebrity brand with unintelligible ingredients or just simple soap.

Shouldn’t Skin Care Tips for Older Women Focus on Healthy Skin, Not Younger Skin

Most women in general, but particularly over 60, are concerned about the onset of an “aging” appearance. These women want to have “younger-looking” skin to match the eternal youth brand machine they are exposed to every day.

But wouldn’t it be great if instead of talking about “younger looking skin,” we could focus on having “healthy skin” at any age?

Here are a few skin care tips for how women over 60 can achieve healthier skin – and feel better!

Don’t Try to Look “Younger”

Someone who writes about the true meaning of beauty after age 60 is Cindy Joseph, an inspiring baby boomer fashion model and make-up expert. Cindy Joseph talks a lot about the importance of using natural products to help women over 60 look and feel great at any age – not by using expensive and (often) ineffective chemical treatments to try to achieve “younger looking skin.”

As women over 60, we need to embrace the power that we have and say goodbye to the old-fashioned notion that all women should constantly try to look “younger.” Instead, let’s embrace the beauty, character and honesty that are embedded in our faces.

We are who we are – 60 and proud! With that attitude firmly in place, there are some practical things that can be done!

Stay Out of the Sun

Sun damage is one of the leading causes of wrinkled, spotted skin. Try to limit your sun exposure, wear hats and use sunblock. A lot of sun damage doesn’t become fully apparent until later in life – but it’s never “too late” to make a difference in the health of your skin by reducing your sun exposure. Using sunblock and avoiding excessive sun can also reduce your risk of skin cancer.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that it is “too late” to start caring about sunblock. If you are in your 60s, you probably have 20-30 more years on this amazing planet. That’s a long time for the decisions that you make not to come back to haunt you!

Wash Your Face Before Sleep

Dry skin is one of the most common challenges for women over 60, because people’s skin tends to become drier as we lose oil glands when we get older. One of the best ways to reduce dry skin is to wash your face every night before bed – but don’t use soap, as soap will pull away the natural oils from your skin that are needed to keep your skin healthy. Drink lots of water as well!

Stop Smoking

Aside from all the other health benefits of giving up smoking, if you are a smoker, you probably have more wrinkles than other people your same age who do not smoke. Try to stop. If you need help to quit smoking, this article has some excellent resources.

Don’t Soak Too Long in the Tub

A hot bath can be a great way to relax – but if you spend too long in the bathtub, you might be drying out your skin. If you love a long and leisurely bath, use some lovely bath oil or lather on some body moisturizer when you get out of the bath when you skin is still a little damp.

Use Natural Products

Many skin care products are packed with chemicals and heavily processed ingredients. You can often get better results with natural skin care products that contain herbs, or even coconut oil or olive oil. The same ingredients that can be healthy in the kitchen can also help you achieve healthier skin.

Give Your Skin the Nutrition it Needs

As I mentioned in a previous article, our skin has unique nutritional needs. Beyond the usual advice of eating a balanced diet with plenty of vegetables, there are several specific foods that can help you to achieve naturally radiant skin. Some of my favorites include dark chocolate (over 70% cacao), coconut oil and red bell peppers. See the full list of foods in my skin care over 60 nutrition article.

Instead of trying to look “younger,” women over 60 can look great and feel better by accepting who we are and by living life as the vibrant, comfortable, and strong people that we are.

BY Via sixtyandme