HOW DO I BECOME A VERIFIED USER FOR UTILITY BILLS AND PROTECT MY PARENTS?

HOW DO I BECOME A VERIFIED USER FOR UTILITY BILLS AND PROTECT MY PARENTS?

Joan went home for the holidays and noticed the WIFI was out at her father’s home. Her father John said he couldn’t get it to work and he called the phone company, but they didn’t have a record of his account. Joan asked her dad what company he had his WIFI with and he said AT&T. She asked if she could call for him. Joan called on Monday and was told that she was not authorized on the account and they couldn’t look it up for her. She explained that she is his daughter and that he had called, and no one could find his account. The customer service representative re-explained that she needs to have her dad call to add her to the account. This took up most of Joan’s Monday—between calling her dad, conferencing in the phone company and so on… it turns out that John didn’t use AT&T as his internet provider but used Comcast- the same as his TV—So Joan spent another day getting added onto that account as well…

The owners of Bee Cared4, LLC have gone through a similar scenario personally with their own mother.  As Certified Senior Care Managers we offer a full spectrum of care. We will assist you with the many challenges you may face with an aging parent.

The moral of the story is—there is a balance between our parent’s independence and us helping them out in the case of an emergency.  Giving your parents the dignity to live at home if possible doesn’t mean they will be able to manage their home and all their finances and utilities. Start the conversations early to be added as an authorized name on each account.

You can be added as an authorized person on all utility bills, so you can make changes as needed.  If you wait too long your parent may no longer have enough cognition to understand these accounts and this will become very difficult as these companies have strict security guidelines.

  • Cable
  • Phone
  • Electric
  • Gas
  • Garbage
  • Pest Control
  • Lawn
  • House cleaners
  • WIFI
  • Homeowners Association

Have a conversation about banking and credit card companies and get yourself added here too- you can help track suspicious actions, fraud and strange spending.

Acting early will help your parent live in their home longer and help them remain as independent as possible.

More Tips…

  • There are also Geriatric Care Managers that can assist you with this for a fee. Just be careful to do your due diligence to protect your family.
  • Check with your elder care attorney to also discuss power of attorney.

VITAL SIGNS – WHAT IS “NORMAL”?

VITAL SIGNS – WHAT IS “NORMAL”?


Vital signs are quick assessment measures of a person’s temperature, heart rate (pulse) per minute, blood pressure, respirations (breaths) per minute, and oxygen level. These numbers are then compared to “normal” readings, to see where you fall, at a specific point in time. The standard normal readings are defined as follows:
Temperature: 98.6° F
Heart Rate: 60-100 per minute
Blood Pressure: 120/80
Respirations: 12-20 breaths per minute
Oxygen level: 95% or greater

Keep in mind that these are “normals” across all adults. What is normal for YOU however may vary from these guidelines depending on your fitness level, or any acute or chronic medical conditions you have. In addition, your vital signs can change throughout the course of a day, depending on many factors including medications or supplements you’ve taken, whether you have just exerted yourself or are at rest, even the environmental temperature in the room you are in can alter your readings and have them appear to be “abnormal”.

This is why we focus on trends in your vital signs readings, rather than one point-in-time snapshot. Vital signs taken at different times of the day can be skewed by external influences, making them not a true indicator of your current status. The best way to know YOUR “normal”, is to take your vital signs first thing in the morning, before you’ve eaten or drank. Taking them before you get out of bed is even better, that way you can get a true “resting” reading. It’s good practice to always use the same equipment too (the same thermometer, the same blood pressure machine, etc) to eliminate any variability from your device.

Record your vital signs using these tips every morning. Once you have multiple days’ recordings, you will be able to see your trend – and decipher your baseline vital signs. If any of your vital signs are consistently outside the broader population normals shown above, share this information with your doctor. There may be something going on with your body that needs to be treated medically and/or corrected through lifestyle changes.

HOW CAN I SAVE MONEY ON MY MEDICATION?

HOW CAN I SAVE MONEY ON MY MEDICATION?


Medications can be expensive! It may seem a mixed blessing the gift of longer years lived comes with the price of what seems like an endless number of doctors’ visits and medications to take. Especially when it comes to paying for it. How do you manage it all?

Let me start by saying that it is so important to follow your doctor’s orders and take your prescribed medications! These meds were ordered for you to either prevent future health problems or manage health problems you are currently experiencing. It can seem overwhelming, or maybe even a daily chore you wish you didn’t have to deal with. But if you want to live your given years in the best health possible for you, you must take your medications, as prescribed. This is not negotiable!

Ok, so since not taking your meds is not an option, how do we make it a little easier for you? Making your medications more affordable may take a little pain out of the process. For this, I encourage you to do a little comparison shopping. The best news, you can do it right from your computer or smart phone!

Publix and WalMart both have a standard list of meds that are either free or a fixed price of $4 for 30 days, or $7.50 – $10 for 90 days. Look here to see if they offer any of your medications:
https://www.walmart.com/cp/$4-prescriptions/1078664
http://www.publix.com/pharmacy-wellness/pharmacy/pharmacy-services/free-medication-program

Another option, there is an app for making medications affordable that I currently love. It does your comparison shopping for you, right on your smart phone or other electronic device! What I love even more about it is that it shows the pharmacies closest to your location, and the prices quoted are in real time! It couldn’t be easier! You can also look up your meds on their website. The app is called GoodRx. Check it out here:
https://www.goodrx.com/

Another thing that is great about GoodRx is you can access the app or website from your phone while still at the doctor’s office and have the doctor call in your prescription straight to whichever pharmacy that is currently offering your med at the lowest price.

I also want to add that if you have medication coverage through Medicare or a private insurance policy, their mail order pharmacy services generally offer lower prices as compared to the traditional walk-up (retail) pharmacy. But still compare their prices to these other discounted medication resources; sometimes they are even less expensive than the co-pays the insurers charge.

While managing and taking your medications is a necessary part of living a longer, healthier life, why not save a few bucks in the process – and spend the savings on something you do love!

FLU VACCINE – DO I NEED IT?

FLU VACCINE – DO I NEED IT?


Spoiler alert … unless you fall under a very specific list of exceptions, YES, you need to be vaccinated against the flu!

This is especially important for our perennials (aka older adults) and their caregivers. As we age our immunities decline, making perennials more susceptible to infections, such as the flu. Once infected, recovery takes much longer and puts perennials at much greater risk for other opportunistic infections, often requiring hospitalization. If that isn’t enough to convince you of the importance of being vaccinated, how about this staggering statistic: 80% of the people who died from the flu last year were not vaccinated.

The flu vaccine is available starting 9/1/2018. Everyone age 6 months or older should be vaccinated against the flu, unless you:
1. Have an allergy to eggs or any component of the flu vaccine (ask your doctor for these components),
2. Have had a serious reaction to the flu vaccine in the past,
3. Currently have a moderate-to-severe illness with fever of 100 or higher,
4. Have ever had Guillain-Barre syndrome.

If one of these 4 exceptions apply to you or your loved ones, consult with your doctor for recommendations.
For adults aged 65 and over or with reduced immunities (“immunocompromised”), there is also a high-dose vaccine available (you may also see it referred to as a “high-efficacy” vaccine or “Senior Vaccine”). This high-dose vaccine has been shown to reduce the incidence of flu by an additional 25% over standard-dose vaccine! Ask your doctor about it.

Flu season runs October – May, but I urge you to get vaccinated early as it takes two weeks for immunity to kick in. Also, you don’t want to have to delay your immunization due to difficulty getting an appointment or vaccine shortages. So beat the rush, and protect yourself, your loved ones, and our precious perennials, and get vaccinated now!

HOW MUCH DOES IN-HOME CARE COST IN ATLANTA, GA?

HOW MUCH DOES IN-HOME CARE COST IN ATLANTA, GA?


At Bee Cared4, we function differently than other in-home care agencies in Atlanta, GA.  We are very transparent in everything we do because we have “been there” and experienced what you are now feeling.  It was very confusing, stressful, overwhelming and frustrating for us to begin the search for in-home care for our mother.  We did Google searches and were taken to many referral websites that provided good learning information, but the sites did not answer our simple question of how much will in-home care for our mother cost?

 

During our on-line search process, we received endless calls from home care agencies trying to get us to book a “FREE In-Home Assessment” to “learn more about our mom.”  We wanted the cost information and were given opaque answers such as “it all depends on hours, how many hours per day, what type of care she needs.” Furthermore, we were told the answers to our cost questions would require an in- home visit. Once we met with an agency, there was no transparency as to how they came up with cost figures. We just got a number and that was that. This is the modus operandi of the home care industry and no agency has risen to be a “game changer”—until now.

Here is ourBeeCared4 story-

We started Bee Cared4  because we wanted to be better than the other agencies we dealt with and offer innovative solutions that really makes a difference in the care of older adults in need of help—our perennials *as we affectionally refer to our clients. Our standards for BeeCared4 are:

  1. Quality Care Givers. Pay our caregivers a good wage to live on and motivate them for peak performance.
  2. Communication between BeeCared4 management, our perennials and their families.
  3. A consistent caregiver that is a perfect fit, functionally and personality wise.
  4. Transparency of pricing and a detailed explanation why we may charge more than other agencies.

 

The truth is—we are a staffing agency that provides loving and professional care to our perennials. It is our job to find, recruit, interview, train and manage quality and qualified care givers specific to the needs of our perennials and their families.  This is a huge undertaking and one we take very seriously. We require a resume, a current CNA license, current CPR and First Aid Training- We have lengthy face to face interviews with the owners.  We do background checks, drug testing, additional training and frequent “announced and unannounced” on site visits by our nurse and owners. YES, on-site visits. From our experience dealing with many other agencies, this is not the industry standard- The state only requires a Care Manager or Nurse to come once every 100 days—we KNOW we must do this more to make certain everything is up to our exacting standards and the level of satisfaction of our perennials and their families is being exceeded.

*Perennial. Implies reinvention. Lasting for an indefinitely long time; enduring. Perpetual.

 

We have added a page to our website at www.beecared4.com to allow you to view health conditions of your loved one and see exactly how much it will cost based on how many hours per week and projected length of time you intend to have In-home care.  You will review and complete our paperwork and purchase care packages right online at our web-site (www.BeeCared4.com).  You can find our exact pricing online without having to have an in-home visit. Of course, we are available by phone or e-mail to answer any questions you may have.

The more hours you use, the more your hourly rate lowers.  We know that the ONLY way to get quality caregivers is to give them a living wage, consistent work and show we care about them.  Accordingly, we pay $2.00-$3.00 more per hour than other area homecare agencies to attract and retain the best possible caregivers.  We pay the caregiver’s taxes– which now increases the hourly amount we pay by 20%. To motivate and reward for “on-time” attendance, we pay a bonus of $1.00 more per hour per 30-day cycle for “on- time clock ins”. What remains for BeeCared4 of the hourly rate we charge averages $5-$8 per hour –from which we pay overhead expenses and Federal/State taxes.

Our rates per hour range from $20.00-$30.00 depending on the package you choose.  Please visit BeeCared4.com to view our prices and pick a package that works for you. Once you have selected your care package, we will speak and meet with you to start the search for your ideal caregiver.