When A Loved One Needs Assistance With Daily Living

While living in a well-run assisted-living or other support of residential living arrangement can provide many positive social, safety and healthcare benefit for patients with declining physical or cognitive abilities, most elderly and disabled individuals dread and resist moving from their home to an assisted living or other supportive care living environment.

When transitioning a patient to an assisted living or other care environment, caregivers often must override and understand what preference by the patient to live independently in order to provide support to patient needs to be safe.

Like the surrender of driving privileges, the loss of choice that results from compulsory relocation to a new living environment for an elderly or disabled person forces the patient concurrently to confront his declining functionality and his declining self-determination.

Recognizing this, caregivers should seek to involve the patient as much as possible in making the new living arrangements.

Talking about the possibility of a future need her assisted living care well in advance at the onset of disabling condition can help.

Planning ahead can help patients and their families to be prepared to pick up a facility where the patient may already have friends for siding will be familiar with the staff or the facility reputation.

Many assisted-living providers also sponsor social or other community out reach events for members of the community living independently.  Others offer daycare or other intermittent care opportunities.  Still others may offer temporary assisted-living or stay arrangements following episodes of chemotherapy or other intensive inpatient care.  Participation in these opportunities for involvement gives a patient an opportunity to try out the facility in their services before the patient actually needs to relocate as well as gives the family and the patient the opportunity to check out the facility before making a choice.

When relocating the patient to an assisted living or other facility, careful planning can help ensure that the patient’s room and other living quarters are as home like as possible.  To the extent that space allows, try to bring to the facility some furniture, photographs and other special possessions that will make the new living space feel more like home.

It often also helps if family members participate in the daily flow of activities such as going to lunch or dinner or participating in social gatherings often on for the first few weeks to help encourage the patient to participate in acclimatize them to the new opportunities and friendships.

The best way to head off problems is to detect issues early and intervene.  Even after the patient as well settled family members and friends should drop by often and at varying times to check on the patient’s physical and emotional status, keep the patient engaged and to check up on the care and service that the patient is receiving.

Family members and friends should learn and watch for signs of abuse or neglect.  Many excellent sources of education and resources are available through state Agency responsible for oversight in care of the aging and disabled like this list of elder neglect warning signs  published by the State of Idaho.

To help safeguard your loved one, make sure you and others with a close relationship to the patient check in on the patient regularly.  Set aside time to check in on the patient as well as to talk to the patient to detect signs of abuse, neglect, deterioration in the patient’s physical, cognitive or emotional status or other signs of possible concern.  Even something so seemingly minor as a recurrent failure at the facility staff timely to assist the patient to make her bed or with other schedule services should be monitored and addressed.  Beyond the actual assistance with the performance of the designated chores, the interactions scheduled with staff to perform these chores are critical monitoring activities for the facility.  Failing to timely perform the services means the facility is not keeping on top of their monitoring and other care duties for the patient and should be addressed.

Be A Healthcare Hero: Join Project COPE

Follow, like and share our articles and resources in this ProjectCOPE.blog, and follow, like, share your comments and ideas, and participate in our Facebook @ProjectCOPECOALITION or on LinkedIn to:

  • Learn tips, tools and other information on how you and your family can manage your health and wellness needs?
  • Get ideas on how to understand, shape and use your healthcare and coverage?
  • Share your ideas and input about health and health coverage issues and policies with elected leaders and regulators?
  • Monitor health, wellness and other developments?
  • Help your providers, family, friends and community cope with health care, disability, aging and wellness challenges?

Despite an endless stream of well-meaning market and governmental reforms over the past 25 years, the U.S. health care system is in crisis. American patients, their families and other caregivers, their employers, their health benefit programs, their health care providers, the communities and even our federal health care budget increasingly are burdened and overwhelmed by the mounting obstacles to caring for our ill, disabled, and aging citizens within our health care system and the extraordinary expense of maintaining and using that system.

As Congress takes up reform again, it is critical that Americans act to protect their own and their families’ health care and control the financial burdens of health care by getting informed, providing clear and consistent direction to Congress and other reformers and taking other actions to empower and care for themselves and their loved ones within our evolving health care system.

©2017 Cynthia Marcotte Stamer. Non-exclusive right to republish licensed to Solutions Law Press, Inc. For information about republication of this or other materials and programs of the author, email the author here.   All rights reserved.

Keep Your Holidays Happy: Be Safe!!!

Nothing ruins a great holiday or other party, celebration or vacation than the tragedy of an, accidental injury, death or other loss.

Help your employees, family and friends avoid having an avoidable accident run their holiday fun by sharing this poem from the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA).

Nothing ruins a great holiday or other party, celebration or vacation than the tragedy of an, accidental injury, death or other loss.

Help your employees, family and friends avoid having an avoidable accident run their holiday fun by sharing this poem from the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA).

The clock is ticking and we’re down to the wire. 

Everything feels like it’s just caught on fire.

But, let’s be certain that isn’t true.

Keep your real trees watered and your plants too.

 The gift list keeps growing, everyone gets a toy

Tablets, e-readers and chargers, oh boy!

There are plenty of deals out here and out there,

If you’re buying online, be secure and aware.

Plenty of people with candles alight.

Might want to keep them from becoming a fright.

The way to do that is to keep them away.

From the things that could catch on fire some way.

The big day is near, you plan to travel some place.

But a big winter storm rears its big ugly face.

It might change your plans and keep you at home

But that’s better than going out in a snow dome.

The best thing to do is sit down to a feast,

Mashed potatoes and stuffing and a big old roast beast at least.

Keep an eye on them as they sit and they stew.

That way your dinner will be sure to woo.

When the day is over, the kids all in bed.

It’s time to settle into the comfy bedspread.

Turn out the holiday lights, their job is all done.

We hope your holiday’s a big happy one!

©2016 Cynthia Marcotte Stamer.  Non-exclusive license to republish granted to Solutions Law Press, Inc.® All rights reserved.

How Much Can Person On Social Security Disability Earn?

One of the most vexing but important question for many disabled Americans receiving Social Security or other disability benefits is “How much can I earn without loosing my benefits?”

The question is an important one for millions of Americans.  While believers in certain stereotypes might view this question more cynically, persons suffering with disabilities often want to work as much as possible within the limits of their disability but often face challenge judging not only the availability of reliable work, but also their ability to perform that work reliably, the financial viability of performing that work after weighing:

  • Concerns about their ability to get work that the disabled individual can reliably perform with sufficient regularity; and
  • The financial viability of accepting the available work after taking into account added costs for accommodations, transportation or other support, childcare, clothing, education, and other necessary arrangements.

Unfortunately,  a disabled person or his family member considering these and other challenges in light of their functional capacity often concludes that the disabled person remains unable to support him or herself through available full-time employment and therefore, must stay on disability.

Even where a disabled individual lacks the ability to obtain appropriate employment that would allow him to end reliance on his disability benefits, however, many disabled individuals still want and often need to work to supplement their limited disability income, promote dignity and well-being or for other valid reasons.  When the planned supplemental occupation will include some compensation, questions and confusion about how the supplemental income may affect the disability benefits that the disabled person relies upon often deter or even prevent the disabled person from seeking, accepting, or fully taking advantage of his earning potential within the limits of the rules.

While focused only on Social Security disability benefits and not necessarily tailored to answer all questions, the Social Security Administration does provide some helpful resources for disabled individuals about how income can affect their Social Security Disability Benefit eligibility, how to apply for benefits, information on finding a job, how working might affect Social Security disability payments and other challenges.  To review these resources, check out these guides on Disability.gov:

About Project COPE: The Coalition On Patient Empowerment & Its  Coalition on Responsible Health Policy

Do you have feedback about how helpful these resources are for disabled persons and their families?  Know other helpful resources or experiences that you are willing to share?  Are you concerned about health care coverage or other health care and disability issues or policy concerns?  Join the discussion and share your input by joining Project COPE: Coalition for Patient Empowerment here.

Sharing and promoting the use of practical practices, tools, information and ideas that patients and their families, health care providers, employers, health plans, communities and policymakers can share and offer to help patients, their families and others in their care communities to understand and work together to better help the patients, their family and their professional and private care community plan for and manage these  needs is the purpose of Project COPE, The Coalition on Patient Empowerment & It’s Affiliate, the Coalition on Responsible Health Policy.

The best opportunity to improve access to quality, affordable health care for all Americans is for every American, and every employer, insurer, and community organization to seize the opportunity to be good Samaritans.  The government, health care providers, insurers and community organizations can help by providing education and resources to make understanding and dealing with the realities of illness, disability or aging easier for a patient and their family, the affected employers and others. At the end of the day, however, caring for people requires the human touch.  Americans can best improve health care by not waiting for someone else to step up:  Step up and help bridge the gap when you or your organization can. Speak up to help communicate and facilitate when you can.  Building health care neighborhoods filled with good neighbors throughout the community is the key.

The outcome of this latest health care reform push is only a small part of a continuing process.  Whether or not the Affordable Care Act makes financing care better or worse, the same challenges exist.  The real meaning of the enacted reforms will be determined largely by the shaping and implementation of regulations and enforcement actions which generally are conducted outside the public eye.  Americans individually and collectively clearly should monitor and continue to provide input through this critical time to help shape constructive rather than obstructive policy. Regardless of how the policy ultimately evolves, however, Americans, American businesses, and American communities still will need to roll up their sleeves and work to deal with the realities of dealing with ill, aging and disabled people and their families.  While the reimbursement and coverage map will change and new government mandates will confine providers, payers and patients, the practical needs and challenges of patients and families will be the same and confusion about the new configuration will create new challenges as patients, providers and payers work through the changes.

We also encourage you and others to help develop real meaningful improvements by joining Project COPE: Coalition for Patient Empowerment here by sharing ideas, tools and other solutions and other resources. The Coalition For Responsible Health Care Policy provides a resource that concerned Americans can use to share, monitor and discuss the Health Care Reform law and other health care, insurance and related laws, regulations, policies and practices and options for promoting access to quality, affordable healthcare through the design, administration and enforcement of these regulations.

Other Helpful Resources & Other Information

We hope that this information is useful to you.   If you found these updates of interest, you also be interested in one or more of the following other recent articles published on the Coalition for Responsible Health Care Reform electronic publication available here, our electronic Solutions Law Press Health Care Update publication available here, or our HR & Benefits Update electronic publication available here .  You also can get access to information about how you can arrange for training on “Building Your Family’s Health Care Toolkit,”  using the “PlayForLife” resources to organize low-cost wellness programs in your workplace, school, church or other communities, and other process improvement, compliance and other training and other resources for health care providers, employers, health plans, community leaders and others here. If you or someone else you know would like to receive future updates about developments on these and other concerns, please be sure that we have your current contact information – including your preferred e-mail by creating or updating your profile here. You can reach other recent updates and other informative publications and resources.

Recent examples of these publications include:


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©2013 Solutions Law Press, Inc.  All rights reserved.