Displaying items by tag: senior care

A Selection Of Caregiver Blogs We Think You Would Like To Read


Caregiver Blogs


Here is our list of websites with information about caregiving and caring for seniors. We at Senior Home Search have carefully choosen these sites and feel they may be of interest to you and  your family.

This list is updated on a regular basis so check back often.


1. PAL Caregivers

PAL Caregivers. PAL Stands for Professional Assistant for Living

A resource for Professional Independent Caregivers as well as a resource for family caregivers. We are not on this caregiving road alone, we must share to survive and thrive. Please join the discussion.




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New Research Shows How Sleep Could Ward Off Alzheimer's Disease

Our brains need rest and sleep. Our brains are actually very busy while we sleep, that is if it is good quality sleep.

“Without good-quality sleep, those critical activities don’t take place, and as a consequence, we don’t just feel tired and cranky, but the processes that lead to certain diseases may even get seeded.” -  Alice Park -TIME USA

Over the past several years newer technologies for measuring and tracking brain activity, scientists have defined the biological processes that occur during good-quality sleep. That they seem to be essential for lowering the risk of brain disorders, from the forgetfulness of senior moments to the more serious memory loss and cognitive decline of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Since there is at this time no real treatments many experts are very interested in how sleep can slow the onset of Alzheimer’s or possibly even prevent it.

“There has been a real renaissance in research around the connection between sleep, sleep quality, sleep disturbance and dementia, especially Alzheimer’s dementia,” says Dr. Kristine Yaffe, professor of psychiatry, neurology and epidemiology at the University of California, San Francisco.

The National Institutes of Health is currently funding at least half a dozen new studies exploring how sleep may impact dementia.  According  to Dr. Yaffe’s recent research, which focused on a group of healthy older women, supported was the idea that what seemed to matter, in terms of dementia risk: the quality as opposed to the quantity of sleep. Those who reported spending less time in bed actually sleeping, and more time tossing and turning and waking up throughout the night, were more likely to develop any type of dementia five to 10 years later than those who got better quality sleep.

With new technologies for measuring and tracking brain activity while we sleep, scientists have defined the biological processes that occur during good-quality sleep. Brain activity that seems to be essential for lowering the risk of brain disorders, from the forgetfulness of senior moments to the more serious memory loss and cognitive decline of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. With regard to the field of Alzheimer’s disease, scientist and doctors are excited, since there are currently no treatments for the neurodegenerative disease, and sleep-based strategies might open new ways to slow its progression in some and possibly prevent it in others.

To find out more about sleep and the possible of preventing neurodegenerative brain disease you can follow these links:


Insomnia and Alzheimer's Dr. David Holtzman and Dr. Kristine Yaffe

How Sleep Could Ward Off Alzheimer’s Disease

One Night of Bad Sleep May Raise Alzheimer's Risk

What You Should Do When Searching For Senior Living


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 When it comes time to choose a home for you or your senior Loved One, you may discover it is a difficult task. Your goal is to find the best home possible yet you may be looking at many, even dozens of homes on a list. How will you make the right decision?

The best way can be to make sure you are informed about each home you are considering. First it is great to have access to the internet so you may gather details about homes in your area, their basic information, rates, amenities, history, even photos of the homes and their surroundings. Also you will want to make a list so that you can collect that information about each home you are looking at and have it available when finally making that important choice. You can fill out the list from the facts you gather on the web, but also take it along when you visit the homes in your search. Obviously it is very important to visit each home you are considering.

So here are some tips on conducting your search and suggestions for some of the information you will want to collect.


1. Determine The Needs Of You Or Your Loved One

What are the needs which must be provided by the home? This is a question that should be answered first. If a home does not meet those needs it will not be placed on a list of homes you will consider. Needs may depend on your loved ones level of independence, health care needs, even budget and payment option requirements. Many of these questions are answered on websites such as Senior Home Search. But do not neglect calling the homes as well.

To determine needs you may ask some questions: Does your loved one require help with Activities of Daily Living - ADLs? Do they need help with dressing themselves, taking a shower, and going to the bathroom, preparing meals, taking their medications, etc.? Are there memory issues – dementia or Alzheimers disease? Some homes will not accept someone with memory issues while others specialize in and/or are licensed for memory care.  


2. Make a List of Homes

Once you have determined what needs must be provided by a prospective home, make a list of all of the homes that address those needs and are in a location that will be as convenient as possible to as many of those as will be regular visitors or responsible for monitoring your loved ones care. This will no doubt include family and also friends who are active in their care.

How many homes will be on this list depends on you, as you will be doing quite a bit of homework in order to find the best possible fit. Many people will work with a list of at least 3 or 4 homes that fill their needs. As discussed these needs will include 1) Location 2) Budget and 3) Required Care.


3. Visit Each Home / Facility on Your List

Most if not all of us would never consider buying a home or renting an apartment without first visiting. Likewise, each home on your list should be visited, allowing sufficient time to get a thorough understanding of the home, its staff and how it is operated. In many cases, especially with smaller homes, you will be meeting with the owner. Be sure to have your checklist and questions handy on your visits.


4. Ask the Right Questions

Whether during your visit or on the phone, you should be prepared with the right questions to ask about the home. This is important to ensure your search for the best possible home and environment for your loved one is a success. Your questions should be designed to help you understand clearly the services, programs and processes the care home has in place. Your questions may include:


  • What is the ratio of caregivers to residents on every shift?

  • Does the staff undergo a background check before employment?

  • How will you meet my loved ones needs?

  • How often are visitors allowed? Are visitors allowed anytime?

  • Is the staff provided with ongoing training? Is the staff monitored to assure proper behavior and job performance?

  • What are the state requirements and the homes requirements to be hired to provide care?

  • What safety guidelines are in place at the home?


These are just a few examples of questions that should be answered clearly and in a detailed manor by the home/facility operator. You will no doubt want to add others you feel are important. And do not be afraid to write down the answers provided while on your visit.


5. Be Thorough When Visiting Each Home

When you visit each care home, make sure you inspect the facility thoroughly noting things that are good about it, and also any red flags which may turn up. Does the home or facility make you feel welcomed? Does it smell good like it was just cleaned or does it smell like urine? 

Do you see licensing certificates posted in plain view? Do they have photos of the residents’ celebrations? Do they visibly display their food menu or schedule of activities? Are the residents just sleeping in their room during the day or are they staying active? Are the bathrooms and inside the refrigerators clean? Does it look like they pay attention to detail at the facility?

You can see that a very thorough inspection will take some time, but is extremely important. Your loved one may be living there one day!


6. Talk to the Residents

Are the residents living in the home sociable? How do they interact with one another? Do they look well groomed? Are they happy? Are their alert levels similar to that of your Loved One? In case the residents are not alert, it does not mean the care facility is a bad home. It could mean that the particular home or community specializes in dementia residents. Make sure to find out from the staff and owner the condition of the residents before you visit to help save you time. And it is important to talk to the residents and try to determine if they would get along with your Loved One.


7. Talk to the Owner and the Caregivers

Does the Owner and each Caregiver at the home during your visit seem friendly and welcoming? Do they rush you off or do they take time to answer your questions. Do they seem to want to understand your Loved One’s needs? How do the staff and caregivers interact with the residents? Do they seem like they care? Observe them and do not hesitate to take notes.


8. Get All the Facts

Preferably before your visit, you should check on the Facility’s Licensing Records and get testimonials from the other residents’ families that are staying there now or that have stayed there in the past. Check with the neighbors to see if there have been any reported problems inside or outside of the home or facility. 

If you want a thorough report, a great place to start checking on the care facility is with State Licensing board or department. Each care home and community is licensed by the State and they keep on file all of the write-ups or citations each facility has received since it opened. 

Minor citations are common such as administration write-ups. However, major citations noted by the State inspector are something worth learning more about in detail. If a care facility has a major citation, it is worth getting more information from the State and even bringing it to the attention of the care homeowner or management staff for an explanation. It may turn out to be a reason to remove that home from your list. 

You may also check to see if the home is rated online at sites other than the States website. Do your research and check online reviews and ratings for the facilities you are considering. Be sure to also check the Better Business Bureau rating and look for complaints and even compliments from the residents or their families.


9. Take All The Time You Need!the latest small

The more time you have to research each home on your list, the better it is for you and your Loved One. The home you and your family choose should be the best you can find. This is a most important decision and deserves as much time as needed.

Keep in mind that good, excelling care homes and communities will many times stay full with no vacancies. When a vacancy does become available, due to their popularity and reputation, they fill their opening up very quickly.

It can be difficult lining up a good care home just when it has an opening And it is the time when your Loved One is in need of care. If you already visited homes but your Loved One is not ready, it might be a good idea to see if you can go on the care facilities wait lists. 

Summary and Conclusion:

Selecting the right senior care home for you or your Loved One is a very important task. A good – well thought out choice is important in order to avoid having to move your Loved One from one care facility to another due to unforeseen problems or issues. Such moves can be very difficult for your Loved One and place them under a lot of stress. 

The initial move to an assisted living care home or community is already going to be a big adjustment so you want to make sure that you choose carefully. You can use these tips to help increase your chances of success in finding the right home.

Across the country, thousands of nursing home residents face this situation every year:

"You had to go to the hospital, and when it came time to return home, to your nursing home, you were told you couldn't move back in"

This news is according to an article on the website NPR – National Public Radio.

I was on the forums these past few days and one of the threads was talking about how many days are covered by Medicare in a Nursing Home or Rehab after a hospital stay. The answers were all over the map and quite confusing I must confess, so I thought I would do a post about it to clear things up. I have always told my readers I am no expert, but when it comes to this subject I know it all to well. You see my mom has been in and out of rehab 3 times in the past 2 years so we know the rules by heart.

According to Medicare rules a person must have a qualifying hospital stay of at least 3 days, ( 24 hours) and be in need of further skilled nursing or rehab care in order for them to pay for the stay. The doctor and the physical therapy department at the hospital must agree that the patient would benefit from continued care or therapy at a nursing home or rehab facility. 

It is important to note at this point that the patient needs to be an inpatient at the hospital for 3 days, and time spent in observation or the ER does not count. They have to be admitted to the hospital. This is very important!

Insurance companies and Medicare are putting increased pressure on doctors so that they do not admit patients. They have narrowed the guidelines for admittance and now many patients are ending up in observation for 1, 2 or 3 nights and then they do not qualify to go to rehab under Medicare. 

If a person has a qualifying stay of 3 days then Medicare will pay for nursing home or rehab as follows:

1. Day 1-20 Covered 100%
2. Day 21-100 partial coverage with a 161.00 a day co-pay
3. Day 101 and beyond no coverage

Many Medicare supplement policies like the one my mother has will cover the copay on days 21-100 so there is no out of pocket for the patient. However this is something you should look into ahead of time so you know your coverage should you or a loved one be in this situation. 

During the time in rehab the patient must continue to show that the services provided are helping them to improve. So if at anytime during their stay the team feels they have done all they can for the patient the team is obligated to discharge them, even if they have days left.

Now there is something to be said about having days left over. If the patient leaves rehab or nursing care and they need to be readmitted to the facility within 30 days and have days remaining they will have coverage through Medicare. If they use up all their days then they would have to wait 60 days and have another qualifying hospital stay of 3 days before Medicare would pay for skilled nursing care or rehab again. This would start their 100 day benefit period over again. 

I am providing a link here that goes to the Medicare.gov site for skilled nursing care. It has more information for you. 

I do hope this information helps you understand the process a bit better. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me or leave a comment at the bottom. We always love to hear from you. Remember you are not on this journey alone.

With so many people falling victim to dementia and other illnesses that rob them of their thinking ability these forms are becoming ever more essential.


As the population ages, more attention is being given to senior issues. This is a good thing. And some of the topics that are much discussed in relation to aging include: Are you prepared for an emergency? Do you have all the proper paperwork filled out? Are as my mom would say, “all your ducks in a row”?

Just what paperwork are they all taking about? Let take some time to explore the important, in fact, the vital forms every adult (not just seniors) should have completed and secured in a safe place in case of emergency.

There are 4 forms we will explore here and they are the:

  • Will
  • Power Of Attorney
  • Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care
  • Living Will

 Time to Fill Out Those Forms

First let’s talk about…

The Will

Most people have heard of a will. However many people have the mistaken view that only very wealthy people need to have a will. Nothing could be further from the truth. Why so? We must first understand what a will does.

Your will is the document in which you state how you want your possessions passed on after your death. If you have minor children your will can be used to convey how you want your children cared for should your die before them and they are still minors. You can name the person or persons you have selected to raise them and how any assets are to be managed that you leave for them.

If you have been divorced and have two families, having a will can save a lot of ugliness that may result from feuding relatives, and assure that those you wish to inherit, do so.

People who have large estates should  seek the help of an attorney in planning their will, to assure that all their assets are accounted for and set up properly in trusts or other financial management accounts. If you do not have a large estate you should still prepare a will, even a simple one conveying your wishes for any of your possessions. Perhaps there is a piece of jewelry you wish to pass on to a favorite niece or you want to make sure your neighbor gets that motorcycle he loves so much. Whatever you want you can put in your will. A simple will can be prepared online or even by hand, and you should have it witnessed  by someone not stated in the will. Make copies and give them to whomever you wish and keep the original in a safe deposit box or other secure place.

In most cases  you will also name an executor of your will. An executor has a duty to all heirs and creditors of the will. He or she is to safeguard the property of the estate and make sure that all bills are paid and assets distributed according to what is stated in the will. When choosing an executor do so wisely, someone you know will follow your wishes.

Let’s now explore the…

Power of Attorney Form

This form must be completed by an individual while they are of sound mind. I say this because of the prevalence of dementia we are facing now days, it is important that you speak to your parents or other loved ones who are getting older and make sure they have this form in place. If not, DO IT NOW, before anything happens. The Power of Attorney or POA is the form used by an individual giving another person the power to act in their behalf in regards to financial matters. Without this form financial transactions that may be necessary such as paying your bills, moving money from one account to another, accessing safe deposit boxes and the like would be impossible. With this form you can give broad powers over all financial and real estate transactions or limited powers. Some people seek the help of an attorney in filling out this form, others prefer to do it themselves and that is fine. Just remember this form must be notarized, so please do not sign it until you are in front of the notary. If you do not have this form notarized the banks and other financial intuitions will not honor it. And one fact about your POA, it is only good while you are alive. Once you pass your will takes over.

Now What about the…

Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare

Do not confuse this form with the one above. The “Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare”, or DPOAH, has nothing to do with financial matters. This form is used to appoint two people, a primary and a successor, who will be able to speak for you regarding healthcare issues should you be unable to speak for yourself. Again this form needs to be completed while the person is sound of mind. The person or persons you name will become your patient advocates and will step in to handle medical issues for you. This form is very important because with the HIPPA [click to view pdf] laws in place, doctors and other health professionals cannot speak to others about your condition without your consent. This form will address that issue.

This form can be filled out and completed without the help of an attorney, and it needs to be witnessed by two people so make sure not to sign it until you have two people (not your patient advocate) available to witness your signature. Copies of this form should be given to your patient advocates, your primary care doctor and any other doctors or hospitals that treat you. The original should be kept in a safe place.

Finally let’s talk about the…

Living Will

Again not to be confused with your will, a Living Will is the document in which you convey your end of life wishes. Medical science now has the power to prolong a person’s life in many ways. Through medications, intravenous fluids, feeding tubes and the like, people can be kept alive in many cases longer than they would wish. Because by the time you are in a state of dying, you may no longer be able to tell the doctors when to withhold treatment your living will document can do that for you. While you are still sound of mind, you can make decisions for when that time comes. This document is easy to fill out and needs to be witnessed but not  notarized. Once you fill this document out make several copies, one for each of your patient advocates, your primary care physician, other doctors you see regularly and if you or your loved one lives in an assisted living or nursing home they need to have one on file as well. You will also hear this form referred to as your DNR which stands for Do Not Resuscitate, however unlike a simple DNR, a Living Will covers several forms of treatment you may or may not want.

A lot to think about, yes, however once it’s done - it’s done. One thing to note too about all these forms, they can be updated and changed as life changes, as people move in and out of your life. So don’t worry if you appoint someone today as your patient advocate and down the road you marry or divorce or your relationships change, you can always make a change to the form.

And so these are 4 of the forms every adult, especially every senior adult should have. If it sounds like a lot of work, remember having them is for the best. And not having them completed and in the right hands will be something you may one day regret.

Will DontPutItOff

Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today.
We never know when life will throw us a curve.

With so many people falling victim to dementia and other illnesses that rob them of their thinking ability these forms are becoming ever more essential. Won’t you please take the time to make sure you have all your “ducks in a row”. And help your loved ones complete their paperwork. Having these filled out and in a safe place will take a huge burden off your shoulders. Life in a journey, let’s make it as smooth sailing as possible.



Summary of the HIPAA Privacy Rule [click to view pdf]

Find The Best Senior Care Homes And Assisted Living Homes Here


Our passion is providing the best information about Adult/Senior Family Care Homes as you search for a new residence for yourself or a loved one. These Adult Family Care Homes are just that - homes that provide small intimate settings with consistent caregivers that foster a family like atmosphere.

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Find The Right Senior Care Home for Mom or Dad


When looking for a new home for our own mother we chose one of these, an AFC, and she couldn’t be happier. Around the country, access to these homes has been getting better, however with the large – hotel and apartment like facilities leading the markets for assisted living they sometimes get lost in the haze so to speak.

This is why our site is dedicated to these homes and only these homes, no big guys to muddy up the waters. Our site links you directly with the owners, no annoying care coordinators hounding you for your business and no large commission charged to the home owner. It’s a win, win for everyone.

Please feel free to use our Senior Home Search web site to find out what we did, that bigger isn’t always better and let us know what you think.

Thank you for visiting our website. Please browse as often as you wish. You may use our contact page to ask questions or even make recommendations. We would love to hear from you.


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