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How Can I Make Senior Care More Affordable?

How Can I Make Senior Care More Affordable?

Whether you’re looking for somewhere that can give a parent the 24 hour care they need, or considering a wonderful retirement community yourself, you’re likely searching for ways you can make future senior care options more affordable. At Nye Health Services, we are here to help. Once you consider the costs of home ownership, meals, health care and transportation, you might be surprised at how affordable our communities really are.

Whether you’re ready to move into an assisted living community or are interested in a bit of extra help while continuing to live in your home, we will work with you to help you find funds from a variety of sources. Here are some answers to the most common questions we receive about paying for various types of senior care, as well as tips for making your senior years more affordable!

 

How Much Does Senior Care Cost?

The average cost of senior care can vary significantly depending on where you live and the level of care that you need. In 2017, the national median cost of living in an assisted living community was approximately $45.000 per year, but many states have a much higher or lower average.

If you require a higher level of care, you can expect an average cost of $4,290 per month for in-home care and $8,517 for residential skilled nursing services. Again, these national averages vary depending on the state you live in. Although approximately 90 percent of senior care is covered through private pay, you have a variety of options for making your senior years more affordable.

 

Private Options for Making Senior Care More Affordable

Many seniors have a variety of types of insurance and other private funding available that can be applied to assisted living or in-home care.

 

Life Insurance

Your life insurance policy can help you cover the cost of senior care in a couple of ways. Although you won’t receive the full face value of your policy to put toward senior care, cashing it in is one of your first options for finding money to fund your senior care. You can also convert your policy into a deferred annuity, which allows money from your policy to be paid directly to your assisted living community or in-home care provider each month.

 

Long Term Care (LTC) Insurance

LTC insurance policies generally have benefits that range from $50-300 per day. These funds can be used to supplement other sources to offset your total cost of senior care.

 

Reverse Mortgage

A reverse mortgage allows you to obtain cash from the partial value of your home. This can be a particularly attractive option if you would benefit from in-home care services but aren’t quite ready to move into an assisted living community, as it does not require you to sell your home before receiving benefits.

This type of loan is usually not taxed, but you will need to pay interest on it. You should also be aware that the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) is the only type of reverse mortgage that is federally insured and that choosing this option means that leaving your home to your children usually will not be possible.

 

Bridge Loans

A bridge loan gives you the option of quickly moving into a senior living community even if you aren’t able to sell your home or other assets immediately. Although each bank handles bridge loans differently, you will generally need to make a down payment in order to obtain benefits up front. You (or your family members) will then make monthly payments as needed until your assets sell, at which time you will pay the full lump sum.

 

Public Options for Making Senior Care More Affordable

Although public options usually do not provide as much money to work with as private choices, the following sources may be available to you if private funding options do not meet your needs.

 

Veterans’ Benefits

Many wartime veterans and their spouses qualify for the VA Aid & Attendance Benefit, which is a monthly payment in addition to your pension that can be applied to senior care.

 

Medicare

You won’t be able to use Medicare funds to cover the cost of moving into an assisted living community, but they can be applied to up to 100 days of temporary care following an illness or injury.

It’s important to note that Medicare will not cover assisted or traditional long-term skilled nursing care, but it can be applied to a short-term skilled rehabilitation stay when qualifications are met. For more information, you may visit the official Medicare & Medicaid services website.

 

Medicaid

Medicaid funds can be applied to senior care in some states. Although it is unlikely to be your best option, it is worth looking into if you have no significant assets or income to use.

 

How Can I Learn More About the Best Options for Me?

At Nye Health Services, we are here to help make your transition to senior living as smooth as possible. We are a top choice among seniors throughout Nebraska and surrounding states, and we work closely with each individual to create a senior care plan that best meets their unique needs. Contact us today to talk with one of our senior care experts about how we can make your future assisted living options more affordable or to learn more about our campuses!

Caring for Your Aging Parents While Supporting Your Children – 5 Tips for the “Sandwich Generation”

Caring for Your Aging Parents While Supporting Your Children – 5 Tips for the “Sandwich Generation”

Are you taking care of your aging parents and your growing children at the same time? You are the ham, turkey, or even the cheese that’s in the middle of what’s known as sandwich generation. It’s not always an easy place to be. Everyone needs your attention — sometimes at the same time — and you can easily burn out if you’re not careful.

Here are five tips to help you make this time in your life a little easier:

Plan ahead

Your parents didn’t just age overnight and if they aren’t at the point where they will need you as their caretaker, they might soon. Start thinking about what you need to know to make the transition easier for all of you. Do you know what your parents’ wishes are for when they need help? Do you have a good understanding of their medical conditions? Do you know where all of their financial records are and where they want to live?

If you have siblings, who will help and what will they do? Planning as much as you can ahead of time will help prevent undue conflicts and stress when the time comes.

Talk it out

You might have had the important conversation with your parents and siblings, but what about talking to your boss? Something might come up with your parents or children while you’re at work, so let your boss in on what’s going on. Perhaps you can work from home occasionally to catch up on work when things get hectic or take some of the commute pressure off of you.

Depending on your child’s age, have a heart-to-heart with him or her too. If you’re raising a teenager, they can pitch in and help around the house while you are with your parents. The last thing you need is to come home to a messy home after working all day and then checking in on mom or dad. Talk to them about carrying some of the weight. In turn, make sure you spend some quality time with them when you can, even if it’s something as simple as ordering take out and watching a Netflix movie at home.

Reduce stress

Speaking of stress, caregiver burnout is real. It is defined as a state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion that can occur when caregivers don’t get the help they need, or if they try to do more than they are able, physically or financially. Make sure you that you take care of yourself physically, mentally and emotionally. “It’s okay to take a break,” said Kathy Kirby, Executive Director of Nye Home Health Care. “If you’re feeling overwhelmed, ask your siblings to take over or see if a babysitter can watch your children for a few hours while you nap. You’re not going to be any good to your parents or your children if you burn out.”

If you need more than occasional relief, enlist professional services for your parents before there is a crisis. It can make any transitions easier.

Get some help

In addition to siblings and babysitters there are caregiver resources that you can tap into when you need some additional help. For example, AARP has a family caregiving checklist at www.aarp.org/caregiving where you can get legal checklists, care options and tap into an online community.

Nye Health Services offers seven communities in Eastern Nebraska and Wyoming, structured to meet the needs of their residents from independent living to skilled nursing, memory care, and now home care services. A family-owned company with a rich history of connecting with the people they serve, Nye Health Services is open for visits anytime. Call 402.753.1400 to schedule an appointment at locations in Fremont, Lincoln, South Sioux City, Norfolk, or Jackson Hole, or visit Nye Health Services for more information.

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Legends of Legacy Lodge: Beverly Hofmann, A Woman of Creativity and Courage

Legends of Legacy Lodge: Beverly Hofmann, A Woman of Creativity and Courage

What do you do if you have a good life in Illinois but feel the call of mountains? You get in your car and head west to Jackson, Wyoming. That is what Bev Hofmann did in 1973.

She had been here with her parents when she was five years old and remembered not only the mountains, but also things like someone playing a calliope outside the doors of the Pink Garter Theater on Deloney street. and bears raiding the garbage cans outside their cabin in Yellowstone.

The first day after her arrival in 1973, because of her typing ability, she found a job at the Jackson Hole Guide, where she worked as a typesetter for three years before moving on to other work at the Alpenhoff and the Aspens. In the late 70’s, she moved to a job at the Valley Shop in Jackson, an office supply store. Also, in the 1970’s, she started doing needlepoint and started her own business, Beverly Designs.

Like most artists, she needed other work, as well. In 1981, she met a woman who worked in medical records at the hospital and Bev decided that job would be a good match for her. She was right—she worked in medical records for 30 years and for the last 6 years before she retired, she worked as a Revenue Cycle Coordinator for the hospital. She also continued her design business.

In 1990, artists were sought to design and make needlepoint chair covers for dining chairs in the Wyoming Governor’s Mansion. 24 chairs were commissioned in total, one chair for each county in Wyoming. Bev designed the Sublette county chair, because there was no one from Sublette county to do it. It wasn’t a quick task—it took her a year to complete it. 

Bev has sold an original design to a catalog company and continues creating them, but needlepoint design isn’t her only creative activity. She has managed craft shows, created amazing mod-podge items, bead work, jewelry, and more. She has worked with copper netting, plastic canvas, and ribbons.

Lucky us to have her in our midst!

 

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Legacy Lodge Legend: Grace Merritt

Legacy Lodge Legend: Grace Merritt

Once upon a time, not too many years ago, there lived three sisters in eastern Wyoming. The youngest of these, a pretty and bright little girl, was 22 months old when the three sisters were adopted by a western Wyoming couple who lived near Afton. The couple was happy to have these little girls and after a few years, had four more daughters born to them, so there were seven sisters in the family. The young 22-month-old toddler grew up to be our neighbor here at Legacy, Grace Merritt.

Grace liked living on the farm in Star Valley where she grew up and where her mother was a school teacher. She also liked seeing things grow and appreciated the family’s big garden. Grace liked books and read almost anything she could get. She fondly remembers reading while lying outdoors in the grass. She still likes to read and always has books near at hand in her apartment. A farm is a busy place and Grace learned to work early in her life. Each of the family’s daughters had many tasks (such as feeding calves, pigs or chickens) and were assigned to prepare some of the family’s meals.

Grace met LaMar, the man who became her husband, at a roller-skating rink. He had just come home from his stint in the Army. They married in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple when she was still a teenager. She finished high school after their marriage. Later, she and her husband bought a farm near Bedford where they had around 35 dairy cows that had to be milked, both morning and night. They also raised wheat, barley, and alfalfa on the farm.

Tragedy came into their lives when Grace was still a young wife and mother—her husband was run over by his tractor. The large rear wheel rolled over much of his lower left body. There was no one in Afton who could do anything, but his life depended on receiving help rapidly. With Grace and two others alternating driving and trying to care for her husband, they made the trip to Idaho Falls, over 90 miles away, via a graveled road in 68 minutes. He survived and lived for many more years.

Back on the farm, Grace did all the farming for a time while her mother and mother-in-law helped with the home and children. Later, Grace worked at a creamery which was popular not only for cheese, but also for the pies people could buy there. One of her jobs was to make the pies, often 100 of them a day, which everyone liked a lot.

Grace and her husband had five children. Three of them live in Star Valley and two are in Logan, Utah.

I’m sure we all appreciate Grace’s creativeness—not everyone could make a tin can man, fashion a woman’s head from a bowling alley pin, or create some of the other wonderful arrangements outside her apartment.

  • Written by Jeanie Mebane

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Keeping an Active Social Life as we Age: The Hidden Benefit of Senior Housing

Keeping an Active Social Life as we Age: The Hidden Benefit of Senior Housing

At first, 70-year-old Patricia shunned the idea of moving out of the comfortable home she’d lived in for decades into a senior housing apartment. Her daughter Anne tried to change her mind, explaining that the home was too big — and too expensive — to take care of herself anymore. She also gently told her mother that she didn’t have much of an active social life. Living alone watching television was not the way that Anne wanted her mother to enjoy her well-earned golden years.

After thinking about the conversation with Anne for some time, Patricia finally agreed to make the move to senior housing. A few weeks after her mother settled in, Anne visited and was pleasantly surprised to see how much her mom changed for the better. Patricia, who considered herself a loner, was playing cards with new friends, seeing a show, and enjoying the weekly dancing lessons.

Senior housing should offer a full range of organized social and recreational events and wellness programs. And your loved one should not be limited to staying at the facility or in their rooms. They should be able to venture out to such fun activities as golf, fishing, movie theaters, shopping and restaurants that are in close proximity.

Studies have shown that if seniors stay socially active, they are likely to live longer, which suggests that social engagement is a very important health factor for seniors.

As a result, this increased social activity typically leads to making new friends which, the Mayo Clinic said, also has its own benefits for seniors. These include increasing their sense of belonging and purpose, boosting happiness and reducing stress and improving self-confidence and self-worth. Seniors with strong social support can also reduce their risk of depression, high blood pressure and an unhealthy body mass index (BMI).

Some seniors may find it hard to make new friends or might be reluctant to try something new. Moving into senior housing is moving to a new neighborhood where you might not know anyone and might end up fighting a bit of loneliness. Encourage your loved one to participate in one new activity and see how it goes. As in any new environment, once they take that first step, they will realize the benefits of the move and wonder why they didn’t do it sooner.

Nye Health Services offers seven communities in Eastern Nebraska and Wyoming, structured to meet the needs of their residents from independent living to skilled nursing, memory care, and now home care services. A family-owned company with a rich history of connecting with the people they serve, Nye Health Services is open for visits anytime. Call 402.753.1400 to schedule an appointment at locations in Fremont, Lincoln, South Sioux City, Norfolk, or Jackson Hole, or visit  NyeHealthServices.com  for more information.

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6 Benefits of Aquatic Therapy for Older Patients

6 Benefits of Aquatic Therapy for Older Patients

At some point in our lives, we all need some physical therapy, particularly as we age. The older we get, the more brittle our bones, less flexible our muscles and more tenuous our balance becomes. In that case, the gentle, safe, restorative qualities of aquatic therapy can make all the difference between recovery and ongoing physical limitations and pain.

There are many benefits to employing water in a physical therapy regime. Let’s consider the big ones:

1. The Effects of Buoyancy

Because we are lighter in water than in air, standing in water places less strain on our bones, muscles and connective tissue. Standing in shoulder-level water reduces effective weight by 90%. The reduction in the force of gravity is particularly helpful to patients who struggle with weight-bearing activities, such as those with recent bone fractures, arthritis or excessive weight.

2. Increased Resistance

At the same time, water’s higher density provides more resistance to movement, allowing patients to build more strength and flexibility. Water provides natural and safe resistance, compared with free and pulleyed weights often used outside the water. The continuous exertion required for movement in water contributes to toning atrophied muscles by requiring the involvement of many more muscle fibers.

3. The Safety of Water

Patients unsteady on their feet cannot easily fall and get hurt in water. Those who do lose their footing can be easily righted, where their effective weight is a fraction of that on land. The psychological comfort of immersion in water boosts confidence and allows leery patients to enjoy their therapy.

Warm water reduces pain, improves flexibility and soothes muscles by increasing the blood supply and promoting relaxation. Aquatic therapy is usually performed in pools at 92-96 degrees, a temperature range perfect for patients with chronic back pain and muscle spasms. The heat dilates blood vessels, improving circulation and removing lactic acid – the source of soreness.

4. The Wonders of Hydrostatic Pressure

By exerting pressure in all directions against the body when immersed, and conforming to the shape of the body, water forces the heart and lungs to work harder. A short workout in water, though gentler and safer, can have the therapeutic value of a longer workout outside the water.

Hydrostatic pressure also provides water with a massaging quality, by compressing aching muscles to reduce spasms and relieve chronic pain.

5. Water Facilitates Good Form

Because of its higher resistance, water slows everything down and allows the brain time to better process muscular movement. Slower, more cognitively-involved movement helps facilitate good technique through a full range of motion. Slower exercises also protect joints from becoming injured.

6. Better Patient Compliance

Rehabbing in water is more fun than on land and less fraught with the perils of falling. Patients often look forward to aquatic therapy sessions and are willing to rehab for longer in water. This psychological element should not be discounted: a patient’s frame of mind is an important component of their progress

Nye Health Services offers seven communities in Eastern Nebraska and Wyoming, structured to meet the needs of their residents from independent living to skilled nursing, memory care, and now home care services. A family-owned company with a rich history of connecting with the people they serve, Nye Health Services is open for visits anytime. Call 402.753.1400 to schedule an appointment at locations in Fremont, Lincoln, South Sioux City, Norfolk, or Jackson Hole, or visit NyeHealthServices.com for more information.

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Nye Health Services  ·  2230 North Somers Avenue  ·  Fremont, Nebraska 68025  ·  402.753.1400  ·  Privacy Policy | XML Sitemap