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  • 10 Feb 2016 9:57 AM | Anonymous
    WHAT IS HOME HEALTH? Home Health services includes Nursing, Physical Therapy and Home Health Aides that come into your home when you have a difficult time going out to receive these same services.

    HOW DOES HOME HEALTH BENEFIT THE PATIENT? Home Health can benefit a patient who has had a recent hospitalization, surgery or newly diagnosed medical condition, (i.e. Diabetes, Cardiac Disease, stroke and difficulty breathing). Home Health services are provided in the home until the patient is strong enough to continue in an outpatient setting again. Many patients also find Home Health extremely useful to gain education on an illness or disease in a relaxing home setting. Home Health will also teach caregivers how to care for their loved one. Home Health follows your Doctor’s orders therefore increasing stronger communication between the patient and the Doctor. Several studies have shown that bringing in Home Health services may allow someone to remain home longer, reduce hospitalizations and improve the quality of life for the patient.

    WHO PAYS FOR HOMEHEALTH? Home Health is almost always covered by Medicare and/or Insurance. It is also available if you wish to pay for services yourself. With Medicare coverage, Home Health is paid 100% under Medicare part A; with Health Insurance coverage, payments vary. Some Insurance companies pay 100%, others may have the patient pay a co-pay with every visit the patient receives. It is important when signing up for Health insurance to find out if the company will cover Home Health and under what terms.

    HOW DO I GET HOME HEALTH? To receive Home Health services ask your Doctor or if you are in a hospital or rehab center ask the discharge planner to set up Home Health. You may also contact a Home Health agency to let them know you wish to receive services, Some agencies even provide a social worker to help an individual with programs such as medication affordability, Assisted living placement and other community support.

    ARE THERE SPECIALITY PROGRAMS? Some agencies will have specialty programs such as Diabetic Maintenance, Cardiac, COPD, Alzheimer’s support, fall prevention, wound care, post surgery including hip and knee procedures.

    HOW CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION ON HOME HEALTH? For more information on Home Health and related services, please call: Tamara Rowland of Hometown Homecare (863) 287-7969 or (863) 401-3550.

  • 10 Feb 2016 9:51 AM | Anonymous
    Is there a way to get help with my Medicare Part D or Part B premiums?
    Yes. Extra Help and Medicare Savings Programs are available to qualified individuals

    What is Extra Help?
    Extra Help is a Medicare program that helps people pay for Part D (prescription drug plan) costs. Anyone who is on Part D and meets certain income and asset guidelines should apply for this benefit. 

    How much income can I have and still qualify?
    For individuals, the yearly income limit is $16,335 for 2011. For a married couple, the yearly income limit is $22,065. 

    What about assets?
    The 2011 asset limit is $12,640 for an individual and $25,260 for a married couple. 

    Does the asset limit include my house or car?
    No, the home you live in is not included in your assets. Your car is not included either.

    I applied before and was denied. Should I reapply?
    Yes. There have been changes. Starting in January 2010, the cash value of life insurance is no longer counted as an asset. Also, help you receive from your children or others will no longer be considered as income. 

    What about help with Part B premiums?
    Medicare Savings Programs are available for helping people pay for Part B premiums.

    What are the income and asset limits for Medicare Savings Programs?
    Starting in January 2011, an individual can have up to $14,701 in yearly income and $6,680 in assets. A married couple can have up to $19,858 in yearly income and $10,020 in assets.

    How can I find out more information and get help with the application? 
    To find out if you qualify and to get help with the application call the Elder Helpline at 1-800-963-5337 or the West Central Florida Area Agency on Aging, Inc. at 813-676-5609.

    Information provided by: Patricia Henderson 813-676-5609

  • 10 Feb 2016 9:49 AM | Anonymous
    Why be concerned about this issue? Elder abuse and neglect are crimes. Older adults are our parents, grandparents, friends, and neighbors. They deserve our respect and care, not mistreatment.

    How widespread is elder abuse and neglect? According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, between 700,000 and 3.5 million older adults are abused or neglected each year in the United States. For every case that is reported, five go unreported.

    Are there different types of elder abuse and neglect? Elder abuse may be physical, emotional, financial, or sexual. Neglect may be neglect by a caregiver or self-neglect.

    Are there signs of abuse? Sometimes abuse is obvious, such as when there are bruises or burns, malnutrition or dehydration, and soiled clothing. Often there are also behavioral signs of abuse. When an elder seems afraid, is isolated or withdrawn, or explains injuries in a way that does not make sense there may be a problem.

    What can be done? If you or someone you know is being abused or neglected, call the abuse hotline toll-free at 1-800-96-ABUSE (1-800-962-2873). Also, keep in contact with older relatives, friends, and neighbors and check on their wellbeing.

    How can I learn more about this issue? To learn more about the prevention of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation contact the West Central Florida Area Agency on Aging, Inc. at 1-813-676-5609 or

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