Monday, June 14, 2021

In-Home Care for Sick or Disabled Adults - What to Expect

 At some point in our lives, it is not unusual for many adults to need some type of in-home care.  It could be because of a chronic illness, or a few weeks of temporary assistance after major surgery.  Often, the recipient of this service does not know how to hire the right service, or what to expect from them. This week we are pleased to have a guest post from Illuminated Hearts, a home-care agency in Philadelphia.  While you may not live in their service area, the information they provide will help families all over the country. 

In addition to getting a home-care aide for yourself or your loved one, you may also want to get them a medical alert device (Ad) so they can call someone for help whenever they are alone.  There are several to choose from, and they can bring you peace-of-mind.

This guest article will also help families know more about the typical cost of a home-care agency, which can vary somewhat depending on where you live, as well as the level of care the patient needs.  Below is the helpful post from Illuminated Hearts. 

What Does It Mean to Receive In-Home Care?

From Illuminated Hearts

We all want to maintain our independence. However, several underlying factors may hinder this. It gets even more complex when you need a great deal of care, and you rely on your relatives to get things done for you, since most family members may already be very busy with their own daily activities. This is where in-home care workers come in, because they can provide assistance whenever the family is unable to. 

In-home care refers to skilled home health care services which are delivered directly to a client in the comfort of their homes. The specific services offered depend on the client’s needs. The clientele for these services include:

     Disabled people

     Chronically ill patients

     People recovering from surgery or illness

     Aging adults, including those who are frail or experiencing dementia


Benefits of In-Home Care Services

You can reap many benefits by hiring someone from an in-home care service. These benefits range from:

     Personalized care at home with a broad range of services

     Affordability - typically less expensive than skilled nursing home care

     Retaining your independence

     Staying close to your friends and family

     Faster recovery from illness or injury


The Cost of In-Home Care Services

The first step in setting up an in-home care plan is knowing the costs involved. The prices vary due to different factors such as:

     Geographical location

     Client’s health

     Amount of time required to care for the patient - from a few hours a day to 24-hour a day care in extreme situations

     Level of care required


According to Genworth’s survey, in the US the average cost of in-home care ranges from $4,290 to $4481 per month. The survey was based on an 8-hour day care schedule, which is equated to approximately $19 per hour and $149 per day.  Your cost may be lower if you only need assistance part of the day, depending on the amount of care the patient needs. Typically, the home-aide companies require a four-hour daily minimum.  Even a few hours a day may be sufficient for the caregiver to help your loved one with personal care, make sure their meals are prepared, do a little light housekeeping, and set up their medications for the day.  This could take a tremendous burden off family members.


Types of In-Home Care Services

Each in-home care service is unique and is based on the client’s preferences and needs, as well as the individual caregiver’s ability and training. Professionals who offer home care services in Philadelphia will always ensure that you hire the right caregiver or medical aide who is capable of matching the patient's specific needs.

1.   Personal Caregiver

This is perhaps the most common type of in-home care service provided. It is also known as non-medical care, and it is meant to help the elderly or someone with a disability participate in their normal daily activities. 

Non-medical care does not need to be recommended by a doctor. However, if your loved one requires a long-term service which runs in shifts of up to 24 hours, throughout the week, you may require a live-in type of service. 

Duties Performed by Non-Medical Caregivers

     Close supervision of patients suffering from memory-loss conditions

     Personal self-care: bathing, dressing, using the toilet, and helping the client take their medications on time

     Companionship at home, and transportation to and from doctor appointments

     Engaging clients in hobbies and other activities to keep them active

     House-keeping activities such as buying groceries, meal preparation, laundry, light housekeeping and running small errands

     Mobility assistance including transfer between a wheelchair and bed 

     Enhanced home safety, including prevention from falls


2.   Private Nurse Care

This kind of service requires a registered nurse who can work either in or outside of a hospital setting. It is also known as home-based skilled nursing, and it is intended for clients who have a chronic illness, injury, or who have undergone surgery. 

A doctor must recommend a private nurse. Nursing care is sometimes needed long-term, and may run in shifts of up to 24 hours throughout the week.

Duties Involved

     Post-treatment care and monitoring of chronic conditions such as spinal injury or traumatic brain injury

     Post-surgery care or gastrostomy care

     Administering medications, including injections or IV therapy

     Maintaining feeding tubes, oxygen tubes, a catheter, and other medical devices


3.   Home Health Care - Medic Certified Therapists

This kind of service requires a licensed health practitioner such as a physical, occupational or speech therapist. It is also known as medic-certified home health care, and is meant to provide skilled medical care for patients recovering from an illness, injury, or after a hospital admission. 

These types of therapies must also must be recommended by a doctor. This type of care is also short-term.  The health practitioner makes visits to the home, which typically last up to one hour. These visits will continue until individual expectations and goals are met.

Duties Involved

     Physical therapy: help with strength building exercises and doing stretches meant to ease muscle pain

     Occupational therapy: help patients maintain the skills needed to go back to their daily activities

     Speech-language therapy: help improve speech or communication disorders

     Medical social work: provide the required necessary counseling for patients

Choosing the Best In-Home Care Service

1.   Get References From Your Physician

Most physicians know the best caregivers in their area, and they can advise you accordingly on the in-home care agency or agencies to use.

2.   Have a Budget and an Affordable Payment Plan

It is essential to know how much you can afford and explore all possible options if you need a caregiving service. Also, ensure that you thoroughly discuss your payment plan to avoid unexpected additional charges which may come up in the future.  If the patient has long-term care insurance, you can use that.  If they have a very low income and few assets, their care may be covered by Medicaid. Some types of temporary care, such as physical therapy or short-time care after surgery, may be covered by Medicare or their health insurance.  Explore all your options with your insurance company and with the caregiving agency. They may be able to help you guide you and assist you in completing the necessary forms.

3.   Clearly Define the Responsibilities

Ensure that the caregiver you choose knows everything that is involved and is comfortable handling the necessary care, as stated.

4.   Conduct a Background Check

This has become easier because of the online resources which are available. You may use a company which specializes in conducting background checks.  This will help you know more about the agency and caregivers you will be dealing with.

5.   Know the Caregivers’ Qualifications

This information includes learning about the the training and certifications the caregiver has. Basic First Aid skills are essential for all caregivers, in the event of a health emergency or minor accidents in the home. 

It may take some research before you trust a stranger in your home. Although an in-home caregiver is an excellent option for most patients, be sure to do your homework and hire the best in-home care service to assist your loved one.

About Our Company

Illuminated Hearts is an agency that provides affordable home care services in Philadelphia. We are a home care agency in Philadelphia which accepts Medicaid, allowing us to provide affordable home care for seniors, the disabled, and the intellectually disabled. Schedule your free assessment today by calling 215-921-6624.

You may also learn more about what to expect from a home care aide by reading "Providing Home Care: A Textbook for Home Health Aides."  (Ad) 

Enjoyed this post? Never miss out on future posts by following us.  You will receive a weekly email with the most current post.
If you are interested in learning more about retirement, Medicare, Social Security, common medical issues as we age, financial planning, where to retire and more, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional helpful articles.

Disclosure: This blog may contain affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase from an Amazon ad, I'll make a small commission to support this blog, at no extra cost to you.

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Photo credit: Pixabay

Friday, June 4, 2021

Semi-Retirement - The New Retirement Model for Baby Boomers

Many Baby Boomers have reservations about completely ending their careers at an arbitrary age during their 60s. They may feel they do not have enough money saved to last the rest of their lives, especially if they come from a long line of people who lived into their 90s. They may also worry about the social isolation they will feel when they no longer spend time with a group of co-workers on a daily basis.  Some fear they will be bored and have nothing to do, particularly if they do not have hobbies they look forward to enjoying after retirement.

As a result of these concerns, this week I particularly appreciated receiving a guest post from the authors of, another website which strives to keep Baby Boomers informed, as we all navigate the complicated process of retiring.  Their post is on how to pursue "semi-retirement," so we can gradually ease ourselves into full retirement at some point in the future.

If you are feeling a little uncertain about what the future holds for you after you retire, you may want to read "Shifting Gears to Your Life and Work After Retirement."  (Ad) It has some great advice and will help you face the future with greatr optimism.

Below is this week's guest post:

Semi-Retirement - What is it?

by the authors of  

Many Baby Boomers choose semi-retirement over full retirement. It is a trend which continues to grow. There are many compelling reasons for making this choice but, while there are advantages to semi-retirement, there are some drawbacks too. Let’s take a look at what semi-retirement is and review some pros and cons on the subject.
What is Semi-Retirement?

Before we discuss the pros and cons of semi-retirement, it is important to know what it is. Semi-retirement comes in different forms but, basically, when a person chooses to semi-retire, they still plan to work but far fewer hours. The most common reason for the decision to semi-retire is to improve cash flow to meet financial obligations, and/or pay for luxuries like travel or investments. But there are other reasons too.
Pros and Cons of Semi-Retirement

People who do not fully retire do so for two reasons. For some people, full retirement leaves them feeling bored and depressed. Working gives their lives purpose and a focus, as well as additional cash to spend or save.

The second reason revolves solely around money. Someone might want to fully retire, but cannot afford to. Others want to maintain a steady income throughout retirement.

In your first few years of retirement, extra income can make life easier and provide you with a better standard of living. So, at least for a while, it makes sense to transition to semi-retirement before full retirement.

Semi-retirement gives Baby Boomers the freedom to work when they want, live where they want, travel, and still produce an income.

Semi-retirement sounds like heaven on earth for some people, but it does come with potential disadvantages. Before you jump into semi-retirement, you want to consider the negatives too.

Should You Start Your Own Business in Retirement?

The first factor to consider is particularly for those who want to start their own business. 
Some people decide that retirement is the time to become their own boss, start a small business, and they take this opportunity to do it! You need to realize, however, that when you first start, it becomes easy to work more hours than you anticipated, or more hours than when you worked at your job full-time. However, some people may find that this motivates and excites them, and working many hours at the start does not bother them. Keep in mind that if your overall goal is to work less, starting a business might not be the best option for you, especially if you are a hard worker.

You might want to avoid starting a business if you need to use a large portion of your savings to finance the new operation. There is no guarantee your business will become successful and generate a profit. You do not want to end up losing money which was intended to help you get you through your retirement. If you are intent on starting your own business, make sure you set a strict budget and stick to it. Do not overspend, unless you are sure you can afford it.

The other potential drawback involves your time. You may come to regret all the time you spend working, when you could have chosen to spend more time with your grandchildren, friends, or family members.

What Jobs Can a Semi-Retired Person Do?

Instead of starting your own business, you may decide to work fewer hours at a regular job. In fact, you may already work at a place which is willing to let you reduce your hours to part-time, so you can keep your job and semi-retire. If you are not looking for a change (other than a reduction in hours) this can be a great option. Unfortunately, this option is not available to the majority of people, so they need to look for other possibilities in finding a semi-retirement job. 

One of the most popular options for those looking to semi-retire is becoming a real estate agent. Working as a real estate salesperson allows for flexible hours and, depending on where you live, it can produce a significant income. It is also fairly simple for Baby Boomers to become a real estate agent.

Consultant jobs are another popular choice for those who choose the path of semi-retirement. The job comes with incredible flexibility, and ideally being a consultant will allow you to work as much or as little as you want. It also allows you to pass your decades of experience onto another person who is in the industry where you built up your career.

These are not the only jobs you can do during semi-retirement. You could set up several small businesses or find a part-time work-from-home job. For example, you could start a blog about your experiences or life. Creating an online store using drop-shipping from a major vendor is another example. You could also give music lessons or tutor people in other skills you have, for example offering cooking classes in your home. You could even start an business where you offer to share the expertise you have accumulated from your career over the years.

Final Thoughts

The decision of whether to semi-retire or completely retire is not an easy choice. There are many things to consider which can impact the final years of your life, depending on the route you take. You may lose time or money during the first phase of semi-retirement if you start a new business. You also need to realize you will have less free time if you decide to continue working. However, semi-retirement can help you transition into full retirement and generate extra income which will come in handy when you finally do fully retire.


Baby Boomers themselves, David and Alice Goldstein founded a few years into their own semi-retirement. They publish articles which focus on the practical needs of Baby Boomers born between 1946 and 1964.

For more great job ideas for workers at the end of their career, read "The Encore Career Handbook: How to Make a Living and a Difference in the Second Half of Life." (Ad)

Enjoyed this post? Never miss out on future posts by following us.  You will receive a weekly email with the most current post.
If you are interested in learning more about retirement, Medicare, Social Security, common medical issues as we age, financial planning, where to retire and more, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional helpful articles.

Disclosure: This blog may contain affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase from an Amazon ad, I'll make a small commission to support this blog, at no extra cost to you.

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Friday, May 28, 2021

Long-Distance Caregiving - A Practical Guide for Family Members

A major concern for many families is how to care for a loved one who is growing older, but lives some distance away from them.  How can they make sure they are able to age-at-home, without the support of family members?  The good news is that modern technology has made it much easier to help the senior citizens in your family to safely remain in their own home as long as possible. With a few convenient community services, and the addition of some virtual assistants, many seniors can stay in their own home and continue to live a full, satisfying life.  

This week's guest post by Claire Wentz contains some great suggestions to help you with long-distance caregiving.  In addition, family members may want to contact resources in their loved one's community, such as their local senior center, their personal physician, and their church to see what other assistance may be available in their neighborhood.

You may also want to read this very helpful book: "When Your Aging Parent Needs Help: A Geriatrician's Step-by-Step Guide to Memory Loss, Resistance, Safety Worries, and More."  (Ad) It will help you understand what is going on with your loved one and how to find them the assistance that they need. 

Below is the guest post:

A Practical Guide to Long Distance Caregiving 

As people age, they tend to require more support in order to maintain a comfortable standard of day-to-day life. When your senior parent or grandparent lives in another state, you may worry that you are unable to provide the assistance they need. Luckily, modern telecommunications technology and cutting-edge caregiving services mean you can still take steps to make their life easier -- even without seeing them face-to-face. Find out what you can do to serve as a useful long-distance caregiver below.

Coordinate transportation for them

Sometimes seniors are no longer able to safely drive due to a decrease in cognitive or physical abilities. In other cases, seniors lose confidence in their skills on the road. Whatever the case may be, you can help a loved one who no longer drives by introducing them to alternative methods of transportation. For example, get them a smartphone and teach them how to use Lyft—which has partnered with Lively to establish a unique service specially for senior riders. They can then easily get to doctor’s appointments and social events without feeling “stuck” at home. You can even link the Lyft account to your credit card and spare them the expense. Some Medicare plans also include free transportation to medical appointments. Check with their Medicare supplement or Medicare Advantage plan to see if this is an option for your family member.

It may also be possible to find service providers who will go to their home, helping them minimize their need for transportation. Medications and food can be ordered online and delivered to their door. There are even hairdressers who will come to their home.

Hire someone else to handle yard work and cleaning

Sarcopenia is the term used to refer to the natural decline of muscle tone that comes with age. This results in general physical weakness which can make day-to-day tasks like yard work and cleaning difficult. Lugging a heavy lawnmower or toting around a big bucket of mop water may no longer be possible. Look for external service providers to keep your loved one’s home in shape, inside and outside. Molly Maids is a reputable cleaning service which operates nationwide, for example, and you can also search for lawn care professions in your loved one’s area online via their zip code. Help them create a network of people who will provide whatever services they need to maintain a safe, comfortable quality of life.

Look into food preparation services, if needed

Cooking is another task which can leave seniors feeling overwhelmed. This is problematic as it is important that seniors eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet to maintain their energy and health. Booking a service like Meals On Wheels for your loved one is a solution. This service not only addresses the issue of hunger, but also tackles isolation by ensuring seniors have contact with someone nearly every day. This can be particularly valuable for those who live alone, especially after the death of a spouse.

This is another area where you may want to talk to their Medicare provider. Some of them have contracts with food providers that will deliver reasonably priced special meals to seniors which will meet their unique medical needs, such as gluten free meals, meals for diabetics, vegetarian meals, etc.

Stay connected with senior-friendly mobile technology

Even if you cannot be there in person, you want your loved one to be able to reach you whenever they need to. Get them a senior-friendly mobile device so that they can use video chat apps such as FaceTime or Zoom and make calls or send text messages as needed. As of 2019, four in ten seniors had a smartphone. Manufacturers are recognizing the demand for phones designed for older people, creating products with unique features, such as extra-large buttons. You can also make sure your loved one always has a way to reach help in the event that they are not near their phone. A medical alert system allows your loved one to call for help in the event of a fall or anything else which requires medical attention.

There are a variety of choices in medical alert devices, (Ad) including those with and without monthly service fees. You may wish to check out a variety of devices to decide which one will work best for you and your loved one.

Follow these steps and you can rest easy knowing your parent or grandparent is getting the care they need. Meanwhile, they can make the most of their golden years. You will both benefit from peace of mind as a result.

Enjoyed this post? Never miss out on future posts by following us.  You will receive a weekly email with the most current post.
If you are interested in learning more about retirement, Medicare, Social Security, common medical issues as we age, financial planning, where to retire and more, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional helpful articles.

Disclosure: This blog may contain affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase from an Amazon ad, I'll make a small commission to support this blog, at no extra cost to you.

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Friday, May 21, 2021

Brain Boosting Jobs for Seniors to Keep You Mentally Active

Many retiring Baby Boomers worry about their uncertain future.  They are concerned about having enough money to support their lifestyle for the rest of their lives, and they worry about how they can avoid developing dementia.  The author of this week's guest post has some ideas which will help Baby-Boomers deal with their biggest fears.  Jennifer Scott, our guest poster, has written about how certain types of mentally challenging encore careers can help with both concerns ... meeting your financial needs, while also stimulating your brain.

While there are no guarantees that a retirement job will protect your brain, participating in a variety of activities which are mentally and physically stimulating have been shown to be one way to postpone Alzheimer's Disease and some other types of dementia. 

To learn about other ways to protect your mental function as you age, you will also want to read the book, "The End of Alzheimer's: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline."

The guest post is below:

Find Your Second Act in Your Senior Years with these Brain Boosting Jobs

Maybe you picture spending your retirement lying on a beach, or perhaps you prefer a more active retirement, enjoying hiking or biking. You have certainly earned the opportunity for fun and relaxation, but it may be to your advantage to consider finding a part-time job, too. The extra income is nice, but the real reward is in the boost your brain gets from working. Just about anything you set your mind to do can help you stay sharp, but below are some specific suggestions for jobs which will particularly engage your brain.

Explore Digital Opportunities

Between laptops, smartphones, and other digital devices, so much of what we do these days revolves around computers. This is why many of the best part-time job opportunities make use of digital tools. If you want to work for yourself, one way to use computers is by starting your own home-based e-commerce business. We love the drop shipping model for e-commerce because it allows you to sell whatever you choose by having items shipped directly from the manufacturer to your customers. Going this route minimizes your startup costs because it eliminates the need to have a traditional storefront or invest in inventory.

The best plan for success is to choose a product category which you really care about, but the great thing about using drop shipping is that there are countless products you can choose from. If you are into fashion, you can sell clothing and accessories, or if you love technology, you could go with tech gadgets such as cell phones and other electronics.  There are several online companies which will help you get started.  Before you select one, be sure to check out their rating with the Better Business Bureau and do a Google search to see if you find complaints about them.  Once you are satisfied, you just need  to find a way to promote the products through your email contacts, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or other social media. 

Should you decide to start your own business, there are many things you will need to do to ensure that everything stays on the up and up. For example, you may need to register your business with the state, which involves learning the specific guidelines and regulations that you will need to follow. Also, you may need to set up payroll if you have any employees, which could happen if you business grows quickly.

What is payroll, and how do I do it? Simply put, it is the process of correctly paying people for the work they do. Although this sounds simple on the surface, it actually involves a number of steps, including actually cutting paychecks and ensuring that the payroll taxes and financial records are handled correctly and accurately.  You can easily learn how to do it, however, using a program like Quicken, or you could hire a company to handle this service for you.  Before you worry about employees, of course, you first need to get your home business off the ground.

If e-commerce isn’t your thing, you can still make use of digital technology to do a variety of jobs from home and even use skills from your previous job. For example, if you are a retired teacher, you could become an online tutor, or if you have administrative skills, you could become a virtual assistant. Once again, you need to check with the Better Business Bureau and do a Google search to make sure you are dealing with a legitimate company.  There are some good ones, but there are also scams. You do not want to start off your retirement by getting scammed. 

The underlying benefit from all of these ideas is that they require you to make use of your knowledge while also learning new things so you stay at the top of your game.  The more new things you learn, whether it is how to do payroll or how to improve your other skills, the more your mind will be challenged and the more likely you will be able to postpone signs of dementia.

Engage in Arts and Literature

According to the National Institute on Aging, research has shown that one of the best ways to preserve your memory as a senior is to learn something new. If you love hands-on activities, put this concept into action by learning a new craft. As you hone your skills, you can find opportunities to monetize your work, such as selling your wares at festivals.

Along with crafts and other visual arts, music is another art form which has amazing brain benefits. If you know how to play an instrument, look into providing lessons as a part-time job. Another ideal job for seniors is to work at local arts events. If you have a local theater, ballet, or symphony, you could work as an usher. After all, this is an excellent way to gain exposure to all kinds of arts and make money while doing it!

For those who have a passion for literature, AARP lists working as a library assistant as one of the best jobs for seniors. Working in a library requires the mental exercise of cataloging books and answering questions. Plus, interacting with the public keeps you socially engaged, and research has shown that social activity may help fight off dementia.

Get Outside and Be Active

You may be surprised to find that being physically active is just as important as mental activity in keeping your brain strong. Of course, you don’t have to be a professional athlete to make money being active! If you love animals, look into starting a business as a dog walker. Or, if you love the outdoors, Southern Living suggests working as a park ranger.

The great thing about these ideas is that they are as fun as they are beneficial, so you don’t have to sacrifice your hard-earned time doing something you don’t like. This is why seniors have nothing to lose by getting back into the workforce. You can discover new joys and strengthen your brain, and the paycheck will be like icing on the cake!

For more great job ideas, read "The Encore Career Handbook: How to Make a Living and a Difference in the Second Half of Life."

Enjoyed this post? Never miss out on future posts by following us.  You will receive a weekly email with the most current post.
If you are interested in learning more about retirement, Medicare, Social Security, common medical issues as we age, financial planning, where to retire and more, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional helpful articles.

Disclosure: This blog may contain affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase from an Amazon ad, I'll make a small commission to support this blog, at no extra cost to you.

You are reading from the blog:

Photo credit: Pixabay