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HARVARD REWARDS HOME HEALTH TECH

Among four finalists in Harvard University’s Acceleration Challenge, a home health tech company—the only home health company on the list—has made the cut.

Medalogix was recognized by the challenge for its Bridge solution; a technology that facilitates end of life care conversations with patients who would benefit from hospice care.

The challenge received applications from close to 500 different health care solutions and recognized the top four finalists with cash prices from Harvard Business School, the administrator of the challenge.

In addition to the prize, Medalogix will be the subject of an upcoming Harvard Business review case study, and will have the opportunity to compete a year from now for the ultimate prize of $50,000.

“Being chosen as one of the more impactful healthcare innovations by such a prestigious institution like Harvard is a great compliment to us and validating to our mission,” said Dan Hogan, Medalogix founder and CEO. “For years we’ve been working with our heads down to innovate and build meaningful technology that improves patient care. Harvard’s Health Acceleration Challenge is a big stage that will give us the platform to affect even more patients in the long run. Our team couldn’t be more thrilled.”

Source: http://homehealthcarenews.com/2014/11/harvard-health-challenge-recognizes-home-health-tech-among-finalists/

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TIPS FOR KEEPING WARM

The holiday season is upon us and that means cold weather. Everybody likes to keep warm this time of the year so I figured I would share some tips I found at www.care2.com to stay warm in the cold weather.

1. Before thinking about the clothes, realize that food supplies heat to the body; the clothes provide protection so that it isn’t wasted.  Make sure you eat a good meal before spending an extended amount of time outdoors in winter.

2. Several light, comfortably fitted layers are preferable to a single heavy layer.  Generally an outer, mid, and under layer suffice.

3. Under layer. Two-ply long johns and undershirts, (cotton on the inside for comfort, wool on the outside for warmth, are warmer than thermal-knit underwear.  Two pairs of socks–a thin pair of cotton socks beneath a heavier wool pair–are warmer and more comfortable than a single thick pair.

4. Mid-layer. For warmth and ventilation, wear a tightly woven wool shirt that opens down the front and a quilted jacket over it that also opens in the front.  Pants should be of tightly woven wool, cuffless, with plenty of room in the seat and legs, and flaps over the pockets to help keep snow out.  For added ventilation use suspenders rather than a belt.  A woolen stocking hat or mask-like hat will greatly reduce loss of heat from the head.

5. Outer layer. The main job of the outermost layer is to protect against wind, rain and snow.  A parka that covers the hips and has a hood with a full-length zipper is best.  If you’re planning on going above the timberline or along windswept ridges, you’ll need a windproof face mask.  Down pants, mittens and booties are fine around camp, but are too warm for the trail.  Two-piece mittens–a wool liner and a nylon outer shell with a leather palm–are better than gloves.

6. A good pair of boots are essential.  Double boots–a felt inner liner and high-top outer boot–are warm and comfortable, but very expensive.  A rugged mountaineering boot has many of the benefits of the double boot at a lower cost.  Foam-insulated rubber boots will keep your feet warm, but will also make them perspire.

7. While down provides maximum warmth at minimum weight, wool has the important advantage of retaining its warmth even when wet.

It is important that all of your family is taken care of during this holiday season. Home care agencies are essential in helping our elderly family members stay healthy and comforted during this time. Home care agencies can provide caregivers to care for and keep company to your loved ones.

Kinnser ADL is the leading home care software to help home care agencies most effectively do their job. Kinnser ADL takes the stress off of managing the company and so agencies can focus more on the care of their clients.

Contact Kinnser ADL today to learn how we can help home care agencies efficiently manage their companies.

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HOME CARE AGENCIES PETITION FOR MORE STATE FUNDING

More people in West Virginia are going to need in-home care in the future and there will be less people to provide that care, a home care service expert told the Select Committee on PEIA, Seniors and Long Term Care on Monday.

Representing the Home Care Association of West Virginia, Eric Hicks, owner of home care service provider Right-at-Home, told lawmakers about 16 percent of people in the state are over 65 years old. By 2025, as many as 25 percent of West Virginians will be 65 and older.

Hicks said projections indicate there will be a 9 percent decline in the number of people able to take care of the aging population.

“We’re sitting here with the big elephant in the room — more people are going to need care and we’re going to have less people to do it,” he said.

With that in mind, Hicks said lawmakers need to continue to focus on elderly in-home care services. West Virginia currently has four different in-home care programs paid for by the state, three of which are provided through senior centers.

The fourth, known as the Medicaid Aged and Disable Waiver, or ADW, program needs to receive more funding in order to meet the current and future needs of the state, Hicks said.

“We need to be able to provide quality care in the home to more people in a more cost-effective manner,” he said.

Today, West Virginia has about 7,000 people who receive care through the waiver program. The program provides in-home and community services to people over the age of 18 who are medically and financially eligible. A person is eligible if they have trouble with grooming, bathing, dressing, eating or ambulation, Hicks explained.

Spending associated with the waiver program generates about $285 million in business for the state while supporting about 3,700 jobs, he said.

But the number of people added to the waiver program has been limited since 2011, when the program experienced cutbacks. Last year, Hicks said, funding was appropriated for the program but because of a veto by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, the waiver program struggles financially.

Hicks said in order for the program to incorporate the 2,000 people currently awaiting care through the program, it would cost about $45 million, with West Virginia paying about $13 million. The remainder would come from the federal government.

He said if funding were provided, it would create about 1,000 jobs, annually generate $33 million in employee compensation and $1.5 million in total taxes.

The state currently spends $47 million on the waiver program, with $5.5 million returned in taxes.

Hicks said there are several benefits of financially supporting the program. Many people on its wait list go in and out of hospitals, which ends up costing the state more than if they were part of it, he said.

Senior centers, which do not offer service through the waiver program, can provide in-home services through three other options — Medicaid Personal Care, Family Assistance In-Home Respite and Lighthouse. But senior centers aren’t solely dedicated to in-home care, Hicks said.

He said his organization frequently receives phone calls from people who have been unable to get in-home care service from senior centers.

“That’s a terrible feeling for us to know that we can’t help them,” Hicks said. With all that senior centers have on their plates — from providing community service events to offering transportation — the ability to provide in-home care options outside of senior centers needs to be opened up to independent providers, Hicks said.

“I think it’s time that we challenge ourselves to look at what we’re doing. Are we going to do things the same as we have in the past?” he asked the committee.

Hicks said senior centers often argue that if the money for in-home care were taken out of their funding and redistributed to the waiver program, the in-home care programs they do provide would ultimately lose. But he said the discussion should not be framed as a decision that could possibly damage the state’s senior centers.

“Our common goal is to get people their care in the lowest cost setting,” he said.

Source: http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141117/DM01/141119299/1299

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GRANDPARENTS AND TECHNOLOGY

Technology seems so pertinent to our lives today that it almost seems impossible to function without it. We are so used to texting, Skype, calling, Facebook messaging, etc. that we have forgotten how life was without it—well many of us have forgotten. Baby boomers have not forgotten. They still remember the days when face to face communication was the only kind of communication. Many of them do not understand technology and do not wish to understand it. However, recently there has been an increase in technology use by the baby boomer generation. This increase of use is primarily because of the desire to speak with children and grandchildren more frequently. Studies show that over 20 percent of grandparents use technology regularly to speak with their families. The article below from Buffalo News helps explain the reasoning for this.

Like a lot of grandmothers, Sheri Williams doesn’t get to visit her grandchildren as often as she’d like. In part, that’s because she has a full-time job and nine grandchildren spread across several time zones. The youngest one lives in Arlington, Va.; the oldest lives in Hawaii. “I can’t just drive down the street,” she says.

Instead, Williams, a 63-year-old medical administrator in Springfield, Ill., relies on technology to get a virtual dose of kisses, hugs and updates. She checks Facebook for the latest photos and family news, and shares milestones (and endures tantrums) with her 14-month-old grandson in Arlington, via Skype. For her, the interaction is almost as good as it is in person. “I get to say, ‘Hey, buddy,’ and see him break out in a smile,” she says.

Although most grandparents still communicate with their grandchildren by phone, evidence suggests that a growing number of them – baby boomers, especially – are turning to online tools to connect. Given the constraints of distance and time – a majority of boomer grandparents are still working and many of them live hundreds of miles from their grandchildren – technology is often the only way to stay connected to family, and they are increasingly comfortable using it.

Sure, most people are using more technology these days. But grandparents have a special incentive to adapt to technology, says Amy Goyer, a family expert at AARP, because they want to “stay in touch with their families.” A recent survey by the organization showed that 20 percent of grandparents interviewed used technology to communicate with their grandchildren at least once a week.

A 2012 MetLife report found that almost one-third of grandparents email with their grandchildren, and almost a quarter communicate via Facebook. The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project found that in 2014, 65 percent of adults ages 50 to 64 use social networking sites, up from about 24 percent in 2009.

“Staying in touch with family members is one of the main motivations for using social media,” says Mary Madden, a senior researcher at Pew, “and that’s especially true for adults ages 50 to 64.”

Another reason for increased tech use among older Americans is that many of them become grandparents when they are relatively young – about 50. Also, about two-thirds of boomer grandparents are still in the workforce, said Wendy Manning, director of the Center for Family and Demographic Research at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

That may make them more familiar with technology than the grandparents of a generation or two ago. Bill Ferris, 69, a professor of management at Western New England University in Springfield, Mass., says he started using Skype about four years ago when he taught a class from London. He then began video chatting with his grandchildren, who live in Chicago and South Hadley, Mass. “It’s more fun than the phone,” says Ferris, who also uses video technology to talk to his 85-year-old mother-in-law, who lives in Belize, and his 95-year-old father, who lives in another part of Massachusetts.

Linda Drake, 60, was a social worker in Denver when she first started texting. “It was a valuable tool” to stay in touch with teenagers she was working with on the job, she says, “and it made me seem cooler.” When she retired four years ago, she was glad to have her smartphone. Teenagers don’t like to talk on the phone or email, but they do text.

Drake now texts regularly with her six grandchildren, who range in age from 10 to 15 and are scattered from Virginia to Colorado. She also uses Instagram – sharing photos of her dog, vacations and other activities – which she likes because it allows her to stay close to her grandchildren without seeming intrusive.

When using the app, she says, “I use the name Denverdogz, not Grandmalinda.” When her 15-year-old grandson posted a picture of himself hugging a girl, “I may have ‘liked’ it,” she says, but she knew better than to leave a comment. Instagram is a better way to communicate as her grandchildren get older, she notes. “I want (them) to know that I love them, and I want them to know a little about me,” she says. Expressing this in person is challenging not only because of distance and work schedules, but because of the gap that develops as the kids grow older. Teenagers are more likely to respond to a text from Grandma than talk to her on the phone.

“The immediacy of texting and Instagram, and the way that each of us feels from those fleeting interactions, keeps the relationship more vibrant,” Drake says. Her 12-year-old granddaughter, Colleen, who lives Arlington, showed her how to download emoticons, “which I love,” Drake says. Now “Colleen and I will go back and forth with emoticons” – smiles, applause, winks. Colleen says she loves texting with her grandmother. “It’s fun because I don’t get to see her much,” she says. She likes telling her grandmother about meals she has eaten or asking her for help with a family recipe via Facetime.

Still, many boomer grandparents concede that technology is no substitute for actually being there. Drake says that her fondest memory of this past summer was decidedly low-tech: “Laughing uproariously at the dining room table, for over an hour, playing a card game.”

Which is another issue many boomer grandparents bring up: Technology may be helping to improve relationships made difficult by challenges of time and distance, but it is also something of a tease. As nice as it is to see her grandson smiling at her onscreen, Williams says, “It breaks my heart. You don’t get to sit there and hold him.”

Technology, Drake says, helps keep “those wonderful connected feelings alive between generations, when our immediate and individual foci are elsewhere and are admittedly out of sync.” It helps us “remember that we remain connected.”

If our grandparents are switching to technology because they have realized it makes life easier and more efficient, then why have some home care agencies still not switched over. Home care management software helps increase an agency’s efficiency and helps them generate more revenue. Kinnnser ADL is the top software to help home care agencies to accomplish this. Contact Kinnser ADL to view a free demo to see how our home care software can best help you manage your company!

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CMS FORMS FINALIZES BIDDING RULES FOR DURABLE MEDICAL EQUIPMENT

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its final rule late October for durable medical equipment (DME) payment adjustments.

The final rule for calendar year 2015, which is largely unchanged from the proposed rule in July, clarifies certain criteria related to DME, such as methodology for expanding the CMS’ competitive bidding program to rural areas and implementing monthly bundling payments in certain bid areas for select equipment. 

Major provisions of the regulation include adjusted fee scheduled amounts for items and services based on regional prices that are limited by a national ceiling (110% of the average of regional prices) and floor (90% of the average of regional prices). The rule also adjusts fee scheduled amounts for “non-contiguous” areas based on the average of competitive bidding pricing from these areas or the national ceiling, whichever is higher.

The rule also finalizes an expanded policy for rural payment by specifying that the national ceiling will be extended to any area outside a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) designated as a rural area, regardless whether the state meets the definition of a rural state.

Specifically, CMS will define rural areas as zip codes that have more than 50% of its geographic area outside of a MSA, or those that have a low population density—regions at least 400-square miles in area with a population density of no more than 35 people, CMS stated in its final rule. 

CMS also calls for implementing a phase-in for monthly bundled payments in certain bid areas for standard power wheelchairs and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices furnished under the competitive bidding program in place of capped rental policies.

CMS plans to address specific details regarding the phase-in of this payment rule through additional guidance, the agency said.

View the final rule sheet here: http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2014-26183_PI.pdf

View the fact sheet here: http://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Fact-sheets/2014-Fact-sheets-items/2014-10-31-3.html

Source: http://homehealthcarenews.com/2014/11/cms-finalizes-dme-bidding-rule-for-2015/

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SAVE TIME & MONEY

You might be wondering why so many companies around you are eliminating file cabinets and paper processes and switching to a digital way of doing things. Home care agencies have been doing the same thing. Many have been seeking home care software that meets the needs of their company, but why? President and CEO of eFileCabinet say that companies can lower overhead costs by 30 to 40 percent just by going paperless. He also gave these five tips for small business owners who are looking to go paperless.

·  Focus on document management. Aim for more than just storage. Implement a method of organizing and searching files that makes your operations run smoothly. 

·  Ensure multiple backups. Savvy companies back up records in more than one place. Always back your files up on a separate hard drive that is stored elsewhere and then find a reputable company that offers cloud backup.

·  Rally your team. Digitizing is a disruptive process; people may get nervous when they can’t push paper around anymore. It’s important to get everyone on board, so you don’t end up maintaining redundant paper-based and electronic systems.

·  Scan and file everything that comes in the door. To begin the monumental task of digitizing, store and index all incoming communications in a digital format. Also start indexing any new digital files you create, including email. Shred paper documents after you scan them.

·  Be mindful of regulation. Make sure you find a document management solution that meets regulations of your industry, whether you’re in financial services, medical, education, or another field. If you store sensitive client data, security should be your top priority.

Contact Kinnser ADL today to see how we can help your company switch from paper processing to a paperless process that will save you time and money!

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SURVEY SHOWS THAT AGING IN PLACE SERVICES GROW MORE IMPORTANT

Aging in place resources grew to new heights in 2013, as more organizations than ever in recent years increased their focus toward enabling seniors and disabled individuals to live independently for as long as possible within their homes and surrounding communities, according to a newsurvey on aging services.

Today, there are more than 70% of Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) providing what’s known as “diversion programs” to keep people living in their homes longer, an increase from less than one-third that were providing such services in 2008, says the 2013 National Aging Network Survey of Areas on Aging.

The 2013 survey was designed to assess the evolving role AAAs play in the long-term care system, especially when considering their positions in new health care delivery.

With a grant from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, the National Association of Areas Agencies on Aging (n4a) partnered with Miami University’s (Ohio) Scripps Gerontology Center of Excellence to learn how AAAs are not only enhancing, but evolving services to meet community needs in the coming years.

Currently, there are 618 AAAs nationwide. Established in 1973 under the Older Americans Act, these organizations help adults aged 60 and older maintain their independence by providing services to help them live in their homes and communities for as long as possible.

AAAs provide a wide variety of services not only for the elderly, but for individuals living with disabilities, too. These services span from healthcare-related programs such as disease prevention, case management, insurance counseling and respite care, to programs specializing in providing transportation resources, preventing elder abuse and transitioning from hospital to home.

Despite the array of integral services these organizations provide for America’s most vulnerable population, demographic trends and funding present several challenges.

By 2030, more than 70 million Americans will be age 65 and older, reports the n4a in its study. Coupling this with the nearly 90% of adults in this age group who want to age in place, federal funding is crucial for AAAs to provide their services for a vastly aging population.

In 2013, the budget of the average AAA was over $9 million, which n4a noted as a nearly 6% increase from 2010. However, while the average budget increased, the median budget decreased, as more than half of AAAs have a budget below $3.9 million.

The economic downturn has had a strong impact on AAAs, as well, with more than 95% of these organizations reporting being affected, leading them to reorganize and change their operations.

Facing difficulties in securing enough federal funds to meet the needs in their communities, nearly all AAAs (98%) draw on multiple sources of funding in addition to Older Americans Act dollars.

The web-based survey spanned from July 2013 through September 2013 and included data responses from 63% of AAAs, or approximately 391 organizations.

Source: http://homehealthcarenews.com/2014/11/aging-in-place-services-more-important-now-than-ever/

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GRANDMA FIGHTS CANCER FOR SAILOR’S HOMECOMING

I came across a touching story on Pilotonline.com about a grandmother who fought terminal cancer long enough to see her grandson return home from being deployed with the Navy. The article below depicts this heartfelt story.

The dreaded test results came back positive in March. The lung cancer that Carol Hoffman thought she beat for good a few years earlier was back, and this time doctors said there was no defeating it. The 71-year-old woman had weeks to live - six months if she was lucky.

Among her first thoughts: "What about Robert?"

Her beloved grandson - the boy she had seen grow into a man after she moved in with her adult daughter several years ago - had joined the Navy and shipped out only weeks earlier aboard the amphibious assault ship Bataan.

According to doctors, Hoffman would be dead months before the ship was scheduled to return.

Word of his grandma's condition reached Airman Robert Kvacik aboard the ship while on station somewhere in the Mediterranean Sea. He quickly called home to Wisconsin.

"I want to see you when I come home," Robert told her. "Can you do that, grandma?"

"OK, I'll be there," she replied, making a promise she knew she probably couldn't keep.

Eight months later, on Friday, Grandma defied the odds.

Bundled up in a fleece jacket and clinging to an oxygen machine, she sat in a wheelchair at the end of a crowded pier at Norfolk Naval Station. A jazz band played nearby; small children in Halloween costumes ran and shouted; an anxious spouse danced to the music.

Grandma sat quietly, eyes fixed on the horizon.

"I didn't expect her to make it," said Robert's mother, Paula Kvacik, as they waited for the ship to appear. "She's stubborn."

Robert got that from her.

While she struggled with daily setbacks - the tiny woman lost nearly 25 pounds and suffered through a half-dozen bouts of pneumonia - her grandson was half a world away, enduring one of the more difficult Navy deployments in recent history.

The huge ship, loaded with sailors and Marines, seemed to move from crisis to crisis, first steaming toward Libya in response to civil unrest there, then later to the Persian Gulf, where its combat wing launched airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq. Somewhere in the middle, the Bataan spent a grueling 135 consecutive days at sea.

Then, in August, it was announced the deployment was going to be extended by a month. Just hold on, Grandma, Robert thought.

Occasionally, he would hear from home. The news was rarely good.

"I don't know, bud," Paula wrote to her son only a few weeks ago. Grandma had been refusing to get out of bed; she wouldn't eat. She seemed to have given up. "Do you think you could talk to her?"

Robert called again. He told Grandma he was looking forward to seeing her at his homecoming.

Soon, she was out of bed and feeling better.

"Sometimes I just get depressed," Grandma explained Friday.

A few minutes later, she flashed a wide, toothless grin. Robert's ship had finally come into view.

"He's going to come to me first," she bragged.

She looked down at her portable oxygen machine.

"This is almost dead," she said, looking up at her daughter.

"There's still some life left in there, Mom," Paula responded. "You'll make it."

Getting to Norfolk was no small feat. Doctors initially told her not to come. She was far too frail to fly, they warned, and driving from Twin Lakes, Wis., could kill her. She recently fractured two discs in her back simply by sneezing; imagine what 20 hours in a car might do.

The doctors didn't realize that seeing Robert was just about the only thing keeping her alive.

"We knew we couldn't keep her from this," said Paula. Doctors eventually cleared her to travel, and nine other family members joined them on the road trip. "She's been so motivated."

Paula lowered her voice. "My biggest fear now, is what happens after today? What happens when..."

She let the somber thought trail off. This was a day to celebrate.

The reunited family plans to spend the coming week at the beach; they've rented a house in Sandbridge.

Their remarkable story spread among the crowd. Soon, official plans had been amended: Grandma was wheeled onto the pier along with the spouse selected for the ceremonial first kiss and all the new moms. The rest of the family followed.

Just as the group reached the brow, sailors in black uniforms began streaming off the ship. A dad dropped his sea bag and jogged to meet his infant son for the first time. Another sailor wrapped his wife in a hug and cried.

"I see Robert!" Grandma shouted, then pushed herself out of the chair and onto her feet. "Robert!"

They made eye contact, and he smiled.

Once again, Grandma was right.

He came to her first.

Kinnser ADL wants moments like this to happen more often. We know that death is a part of life but we want people to have special and memorable moments like this whenever possible. That is why we have developed the Kinnser ADL home care management software to help home care agencies more effectively care for the aging population. As home care agencies spend more time on the care of their clients instead of the managing of their company then they can ensure they are giving the proper care for those in their communities. Kinnser ADL relieves the stress from running their company and makes it less time consuming as well as giving tools to be able to do more for their clients.

Contact Kinnser ADL today to view a free demo of our home care software today and see how it can benefit your company!

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VETERANS AFFAIRS HEALTH CARE COULD REVOLUTIONIZE THE HOME CARE INDUSTRY

A program from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that not only provides in-home care to veterans but support for their caregivers as well could revolutionize healthcare, says a recent blog post from The Hill. 

The VA’s Caregiver Support Program is having far-reaching effects Iraq and Afghanistan veterans living with physical and mental injuries, as it takes the fight for improving vets’ and their family’s lives into the home, writes retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Keith Bartley.

“Having caregiver support coordinators visit the home per program guidelines is an absolute necessity for success,” Bartley writes. 

The VA provides incentives, benefits, training and services with the coordinators monitoring and engaging with veterans and their caregivers to obtain better outcomes. For the most part, coordinators have been clinical social workers, however, there has been a push to add registered nurses with mental health backgrounds into the fray as well.

“This combination is what the military would call a force multiplier, adding a tremendous capability working on the front lines (homes), not only providing caregivers with direct engagement, but triage assessment for the veteran’s physical and mental health needs as well,” writes Bartley.

From in-home visits, caregiver support coordinators can assist primary care and mental health providers who are using new methods of care delivery, such as telehealth, and can also enable cost-effective ways to implement patient outcomes and overall effectiveness of VA programs, Bartley adds. 

Barriers remain, however, particularly regarding the VA’s bureaucracy, prompting the need for resources to be extended for the Caregiver Support Program, especially as home care in general continues to experience rising demand. 

“VA leaders cannot sit on the sidelines while their coordinators drown with the overwhelming increase in workload,” Bartley urges. “Coupled with the inability of the VA to adjust manning quickly is the fundamental leadership failure of not being able to deal effectively with negligent employees.”

Since its inception in 2010, the Caregiver Support Program has already been in existence long enough to track meaningful data related to veterans and their care in the home, Bartley says, however, forward thinking for the program must continue if it stands a chance at revolutionizing healthcare for veterans.

“Congress needs to understand that the VA has some great visionary thinking going on…new thinking that can have revolutionary consequences for the health of veterans and their families,” Bartley writes. “This new thinking is being executed by some highly dedicated employees that need servant leadership they have not been getting.”

Source: http://homehealthcarenews.com/2014/10/va-home-care-program-could-revolutionize-healthcare/

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INNOVATION AT ITS FINEST

Home care agencies are doing everything they can to stay ahead of the competition. Many have partnered up with home health agencies, partnered up with social workers at hospitals or even partnered up with elderly lawyers.  In the past few years, home care agencies have realized the value in having a home care software to help them run more efficiently and also to have tools that will help them win over business.

Here at Kinnser ADL, we understand the value a software can bring to a business if the software if the software helps their agency earn, manage and keep clients. Kinnser ADL has built a reputation and an identity to be the most innovative company in the home care software industry. We continually come out with new features to help improve the efficiency of home care agencies. Our informative and easy to use family portal and caregiver portal makes it easier for your agency to attract new clients and the top caregivers. We also have an easy to use scheduling aspect that will save you hours in your week as you go about your scheduling duties. After it is all said and done, software is only as good as its billing capabilities. Kinnser ADL gives you the option to bill straight from the system or continue to use your Quickbooks with our seamless Quickbooks integration.

We respect and value our customers and that is why we look to them to see what else they need in software. We first develop and improve our software based off of our clients request and then we look out into the market and see what they could use, but they have not even thought of yet.

Contact Kinnser ADL today to view a free demo of our home care software!

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HOME HEALTH CARE BECOMING NECESSARY

Home and community-based services (HCBS) are grabbing the attention of senior living providers, and a growing number are entering the sector, data show.

Today, more than half, or 52% of the largest not-for-profit system providers offer some sort of home and community-based service off-campus to non-residents, according to a recent Zieglerarticle citing research from the LeadingAge Ziegler 150 publication. And 32.5% of senior living providers are considering offering a Continuing Care at-Home (CCaH) program in the next two years.

The senior living sector is also observing a number of joint ventures and partnerships being developed in the HCBS marketplace, particularly with regard to PACE, home health and home care.

The percentage of overall annual revenue from HCBS from non-residents was 3.4%, and 2.4% from residents for senior living providers, data show.

Speaking at a recent Ziegler conference, Lynne Giacobbe, executive director of Ohio-based Kendal at Home, said the program’s success is due to critical factors including strong, pre-development market research before launching the program, offering multiple plans to prospective members, effective and strict underwriting, robust actuarial assumptions, and aggressive market strategies among others.

A CCaH program differs from a bricks-and-mortar CCRC, from the lower cost of entry, to less healthcare utilization and younger age demographics among Kendal at Home members, Giacobbe said.

There are both benefits and risks of a CCaH program, which is still an evolving business model with few programs over 20 years old.

Ultimately, the ability of the program to expand the mission to serve older adults and touch a segment of the local market who would not otherwise consider moving into a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) is attractive for operators. 

Westminster Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay, a single-site CCRC with more than 630 units located in Virginia Beach, Va., elected to offer home health, home care and hospice services to control quality of care and outcomes, grow and diversify revenue streams, prepare for post-acute strategies and payment and more, said President and CEO Ben Unkle.

“The [17th Annual Ziegler conference] conveyed that there are multiple ways providers can expand into home and community-based services,” says Lisa McCracken, senior vice president of Senior Living Research and Development at Ziegler, in the article. “What each presenter clearly communicated is that it is important to fully understand the market and what expertise is needed for each business line and, where partnership opportunities exist, they should be explored.”

Source: http://homehealthcarenews.com/2014/10/home-and-community-based-services-are-becoming-essential-in-senior-living/

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GREATEST GRANDPARENTS

Do you believe your grandparents are the best grandparents? In South Carolina, six grandparents are rewarded and honored with the greatest grandparent award yearly. Nominations from children and teenagers across the state are received in the form of a written letter and then the judges at the state fair make their decisions of the winners. Below is an article found in the newspaper called The State that describes this competition.

Shaniya Huiett has many reasons for thinking her grandmother, Shirley Huiett, is great.

There’s her help with homework and life lessons, her model as an independent woman and her general everyday kindness.

“She might have her days but she still loves me. That’s why I think she should be Grandmother of the Year,” the 10-year Columbia youngster wrote in her nomination essay for year’s State Fair Greatest Grandparents competition.

And her message was not lost on the judges.

The elder Huiett, also of Columbia, was among the six winners in this year’s competition who were honored during ceremonies Sunday afternoon in the Grandstand.

The 28th annual event selected two winners from three age divisions – 7-10, 11-13 and 14-18 – from several thousand entries submitted by grandchildren in this year’s event.

Huiett was chosen the greatest grandmother in the 7-10 age division. Eugene Wilson Jr. of Turbeville, nominated by Zymere Wheeler of Lynchburg, was named greatest grandfather in the age 7-10 age division.

Mary Shelley of West Columbia, nominated by Micaela Riley of Lexington, was named greatest grandmother in the 11-13 age division.

“Mema bakes, runs errands, and spends time with her kin and many of her best friends, including me,” Micaela wrote in her nomination essay. “She has a trait of supporting others during difficult times.”

Milbert “Doc” McKenzie of Hemingway, nominated by Kennedy Belle of Lake City, was named greatest grandfather in the age 11-13 division.

Alice Bailey of Greer, nominated by Alice Kathryn Bridgeman of Inman, was named greatest grandmother in the age 14-18 group. And Donald Nordin of Saluda, nominated by Riley Nordin of Saluda, was named greatest grandfather in the age 14-18 group.

All six grandparents receive a flat-screen television and plaque and the winners celebrated their selections with family members who had come along to support them on Sunday.

State Fair assistant manager Nancy Smith said the letters were evidence of the strong relationships many children share with their grandparents across the state.

“The fair is a family tradition so it’s only appropriate that we honor these special family connections while continuing to promote education, another priority of the fair,” Smith said. “It was a delight to hear some of these heartwarming stories.”

The greatest grandparents should receive the greatest care as they age. Grandkids can’t keep care of their grandparents forever, especially with school and work of their own that takes up majority of their time. A time like this is when hiring a home care agency is the best option. Home care agencies provide the care needed in the home of the elderly in times when family can’t be there. The important thing to do is find a reliable home care agency. Reliable home care agencies have home care management software to help them manage their schedules, billing, and client/caregiver information. Kinnser ADL is the best home care management software and will help any home care agency of any size become more reliable and efficient.

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CELEBRITIES SUPPORTING HOME HEALTH CARE

Actor Seth Rogen’s Hilarity for Charity event is teaming up with Home Instead Senior Care to provide in-home grants to families living with Alzheimer’s Disease.

The event and Hilarity for Charity Fund, established as part of the Alzheimer’s Associatoin, is also led by Rogen’s wife and actor Lauren Miller Rogen.

The movement is meant to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease among the millennial generation to offer grants for in-home care services to eligible U.S. and Canadian families through the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Relief Grant Program. Care will be provided by professionals trained in how to assist individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

“My wife and I have experienced firsthand the devastating toll Alzheimer’s takes on all members of a family,” says Seth Rogen, whose mother-in-law was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s at the age of 55. “While we continue to raise money that will hopefully, one day, lead to a cure, we want to be able to improve the quality of life for families who are struggling to cope with its many challenges today. Even just a few hours of help a week can provide a welcome break and peace of mind for families.”

Nearly 60% of Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers rate the emotional stress of caregiving as high or very high, and more than one-third report symptoms of depression, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. More than 70% of working caregivers suffer work-related difficulties, and more than half of caregivers report declining health since they’ve prioritized the care of their loved ones and neglected their own health.

“As a result, many chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes occur at nearly twice the rate among family caregivers,” says Home Instead Senior Care.

As part of the partnership, United States- and Canada-based Home Instead Senior Care franchise owners have pledged more than 37,000 hours of in-home care services, valued at $740,000, to supplement the monetary funding provided by Hilarity for Charity for the Alzheimer’s Care Grant Program.

“Care support is a critical component of a comprehensive care plan for the nearly 6 million North American’s living with Alzheimer’s disease today,” says Jeff Huber, president of Home Instead Senior Care. “Together with Hilarity for Charity and the Alzheimer’s Association, we are connecting families with our professional [caregivers] who are equipped with specialized training and deep expertise in caring for Alzheimer’s patients. This program will have a substantial impact on the millions of families living with this disease.”

Introducing this disease to a new generation is important for those impacted with the disease today and for future progress, says Angela Geiger, chief strategy officer of the Alzheimer’s Association.

“Care support for families is critical and can make an enormous difference,” Geiger says.

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APRRECIATING OUR GRANDPARENTS

Our grandparents take care of us more than one would think. According to Forbes, grandparents were a huge source of financing college for students across the country. The article below written by Robert Farrington from www.forbes.com describes the details behind the study.

Grandparents are a rising source of funding for students and families looking for help paying for college. According to Sallie Mae’s How America Pays For College 2014, 17% of families relied on relatives to help pay for college. This number is expected to rise as grandparents create estate plans that look to benefit their families.

However, it’s important that grandparents are smart about the way in which they help their grandchildren. Helping with college could be a blessing for a lot of families, but it could quickly turn into a curse if grandparents don’t follow the right steps.

Here’s how grandparents can help pay for college the smart way.

Understand The Gift Tax Rules

The first thing that grandparents need to understand is how gifts are treated by the IRS. This can impact both the grandparent and the student.

The 2014 gift tax exclusion is currently $14,000. This means that each grandparent cannot gift more than $14,000 to a single individual. If grandma and grandpa both want to give $14,000, the couple could gift $28,000 to one grandchild.

However, there is a special exemption to the gift tax for the purpose of contributing to a 529 plan. Five years of the gift tax exemption may be contributed at once if paid directly into a 529 plan. That means that each grandparent could contribute a one-time gift of $70,000.

Realize The Financial Aid Implications

Understanding what a grandparent can contribute is only half the equation. The second half is understanding how the gift could impact future financial aid awards. Financial aid is calculated on a formula called Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which takes into consideration both the student’s and parent’s assets. If gifts are given by grandparents incorrectly, it could reduce potential financial aid and make college a lot more expensive.

For example, some grandparents may want to directly pay the college for the student’s education expenses. This could make sense for a grandparent, because if the grandparent pays the money directly to the school (and it never goes to the grandchild first), the gift tax will not apply. However, this could hurt the student’s future financial aid because the Financial Aid Office reports that income as “Other Income”, which may disqualify the student from future aid.

Similarly, if the grandparent gifts the money directly to the student, even over time, those assets will count on the student’s FAFSA and it could lower the amount of aid the grandchild qualifies for.  The EFC calculation takes into consideration 20-25% of the student’s savings, which could significantly lower the aid amount of the grandparents have provided the student with large gifts over time.

Setting Up A 529 Plan Is Typically Best

That’s why setting up a 529 account is typically the best route to take for grandparents who want to help their grandchildren pay for college. According to Stuart L. Ritter CFP, Vice President at T. Rowe Price, “the most effective account to use for college savings is a 529 account.  It’s important to emphasize with grandparents because 529s did not exist when they were saving for their children’s education. Likewise, it is also helpful to point out that the rules for UGMA (Uniform Gift to Minors Act) accounts, which were used extensively a generation ago, have changed dramatically.  The tax benefits those accounts used to receive have been all but eliminated.”

For those grandparents that still want to maintain control of the accounts, they can setup a 529 Account with the grandchild as the beneficiary but where they are still the account owner. This helps the grandparent because it allows them to transfer assets out of their estate for estate planning purposes. However, it’s important that grandparents transfer the account into the parent’s name prior to the student applying for college.

If the grandparent owns the 529 account, this account is treated as a student asset and is assessed accordingly. Furthermore, for the FAFSA, the income from the 529 account is assessed as student income at 50%. That seriously reduces the aid formula. However, if the grandparent simply transfer this 529 account into the parent’s name before the student applies for aid, all of these problems are avoided. The account is now considered a parent asset, and will be assessed at the parental rate of roughly 5%.

Before you consider the grandparent-ownership strategy, realize that a dozen states prohibit the transfer of a 529 account unless the account owner dies or there is a court order, including New York State. In this situation, it may make sense for the parent to simply retain control of the account and the grandparent simply gift the money into it.

We cannot thank our grandparents enough for what they sacrifice for us. We can, however, try to repay the favor in any way possible. As our grandparents age, they need someone to take care of them and always be there for them. In many cases it is not possible to do it yourself because of work, school or other reasons. You can still help them get the care they need and keep them in their own homes at the same time. Home care agencies are the perfect choice in getting your loved ones the care they need at an affordable price.

Kinnser ADL is the best home care management software in order to help home care agencies run their business in the most professional and effective way possible. If the agency you chose is not using Kinnser ADL, then inform them about Kinnser ADL. They can see for themselves how it will save them money and help them run more efficiently. In the end, by them going with Kinnser ADL, you will ultimately be rewarded with better care.

Contact Kinnser ADL today to schedule a free demo of the home care management software!

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KINNSER ADL DOCUMENTATION

The recent merger of Kinnser Software and ADLware has been an exciting time for all of us, both providers and customers.  One of our biggest goals is to not only maintain the excellent relationship we have with clients, but also to continually improve the end user customer experience dramatically as we improve our product virtually every day.  

With this goal in mind, we have re-doubled our efforts to document customer interaction to better service your needs.  As we document each individual call and email to our support team, we can more readily be brought up to speed if ever a new agent responds to your questions or concerns when you call back in.  We can historically view your previous requests and or challenges, and work to better assist you going forward.  This necessitates a lot more interaction via our Support tab (which can be found as a hyperlink in your main ADL account by the “log out” and “help” hyperlinks at the top header of your main log-in page within Kinnser ADL).  As always, the more information you can provide us with, the better we can assist you in troubleshooting your challenge or problem.  

To learn more about how our Support Team is an integral part of the success of Kinnser ADL, contact us today to view a demo of our system and how it can improve your office functionality and productivity virtually overnight.

 

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KAYAKING GRANDMA

Deb Walters is trying to change lives one paddle at a time. She is kayaking from Maine to Guatemala over the next year. Why is she doing this? The article below, published by the Asbury Park Press, explains the reason for her trip:

What could inspire a 63-year-old grandmother to paddle a kayak 2,500 miles, on a yearlong trip from Maine to Guatemala?

For Deb Walters, the motivation for the journey came from her experiences with some of the world's most impoverished people: the thousands of residents of a gritty neighborhood perched at the edge of a festering garbage dump in the heart of Guatemala City, Guatemala.

Nearly 10,000 people, including about 1,000 children, live alongside the dump, where they scavenge and recycle trash for a living, and sleep in crude huts made of scavenged metal, bits of cloth and plastic tarps. They are called "guajeros," or recyclers.

There are no sanitation facilities, and water flows in the neighborhood only a couple of hours per day. Gangs thrive there, and there are frequent accidents, as people clamber on top of mounds of unstable garbage, which sometimes collapse. The 40-acre dump, the largest in Central America, contains not only recyclable goods, but toxic chemicals and medical waste. There are no regulations that prevent people from discarding dangerous waste there.

Their plight — and the resilience they show in spite of incredible hardship — is the reason Walters, a retired cognitive scientist and former university professor from Troy, Maine, began her kayaking odyssey in mid-July, leaving from Yarmouth, Maine. This week, she stopped for several days at the Jersey Shore.

"These people, you would expect them to be downtrodden, but they are smiling, they are happy, they are thankful for every little thing," Walters said of the guajeros.

Walters, who paddled from Oceanport to Seaside Heights on Sept. 30, is raising money for Safe Passage (Camino Seguro in Spanish), a Maine-based charity that provides educational opportunities for about 600 children who live next to the garbage dump in Guatemala City, as well as social services for 100 mothers who also live in the impoverished and violence-prone neighborhood.

Before Safe Passage, children who lived at the garbage dump did not attend school, and instead worked alongside adult family members, retrieving recyclable items from the dump, then cleaning and sorting them for resale. In spite of the appalling conditions, more people are continuing to move to the garbage dump neighborhood because of the scarcity of available land and economic opportunity in the surrounding countryside, Walters said.

The charity was founded by Maine native Hanley Denning, a teacher who went to Guatemala to learn Spanish but was appalled by the plight of the guajeros. She sold her car and computer to raise money and opened a school that initially enrolled 46 of the poorest children. Denning was killed in a car accident in Guatemala in 2007, but in spite of the tragedy, Safe Passage has continued to grow, expanding its programs from education for children to support services for their mothers.

Walters, an active Rotary Club member, first visited the garbage dump neighborhood nine years ago with fellow Rotarians. Amazed by the resilience and spirit of the people there, she began visiting regularly, and eventually served as president of Safe Passage's board.

But she wanted to do more.

"I have a passion for the kids in the dump, and I have a passion for long-distance kayaking," said Walters, who has been leading kayaking adventures for years, and once paddled a kayak solo from through the Northwest Passage in the Arctic Sea to Hudson Bay.

She hopes to raise $150,000, which will help expand an early childhood education program at a school Safe Passage has built. That much money will allow the school to add third and fourth-grade classes.

Her yellow kayak is packed with supplies, including a week's worth of food, navigational charts, a compass and a radio to contact the Coast Guard and boaters. It's also outfitted with video cameras to record her journey.

She paddles an average of 15 miles a day and stops every night to sleep. While she has a tent and camping equipment on board, Walters so far has been able to stay with host families along the way, many of them fellow Rotary Club members. At each stop, she speaks to Rotary Clubs and other groups, explaining the reason for her journey and telling people the story of the guajeros.

For three nights last week, she stayed at the Lavallette home of Pam Maguire, a member of the Seaside Rotary Club. Her kayak was stored at Hobby Lobby Marine in Toms River, owned by Seaside Rotary President Bob Tweer.

"They took me to the Crab's Claw," Walters said, recounting an evening spent eating seafood with fellow Rotary members at the iconic Lavallette restaurant. Her husband, Chris Percival, came to visit her briefly in New Jersey before heading back home to Maine.

On Friday morning, she left Hobby Lobby about 10 a.m. to continue her journey south.

Walters expects to arrive in Key West in April, and from there she will take a sailboat to Belize, since armed attacks on small craft are possible in the waters off Mexico. After that, she will kayak across a barrier reef to arrive in Rio Dulce, Guatemala, before the start of the May rainy season.

So far, she has avoided hurricanes and severe storms, but has had a couple of frightening moments, including when the kayak briefly turned sideways when she got too close to shore in rough surf in Long Island Sound, and when she inadvertently paddled too close to the Leonardo pier of Naval Weapons Station Earle, which juts out 2.9 miles into Sandy Hook Bay.

"I missed one security beacon and all of a sudden I saw a gray boat with all these guys dressed all in black with guns," Walters said. They let her paddle on, after receiving a warning.

Through it all, she's been touched by the kindness of the Rotary Club members she's stayed with, who have opened their homes and fed her so much food that "I think I'm actually gaining weight on this trip," she said.

Her inspiration remains the families who live and work in the garbage dump, including one woman who said: "If you believe you can do it, then you can do it," Walters said. "She lives at the garbage dump. That's my inspiration."

It would be great if everyone showed the love for others that Deb Walters shows to those children in Guatemala. Home care agencies try to show that same level of love to all the aging population that they take care of on a daily basis. Running a home care agency is much easier and smoother when using Kinnser ADL as their home care management software.

Kinnser ADL will help manage all different aspects of running an agency from scheduling to billing. Contact Kinnser ADL today to set up your own free demo of the software.

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WE NEVER GROW OUT OF OUR INTEREST

Growing older does not mean we have to lose our personal interest. Bob Jorgenson was a fighter pilot in WWII, and he absolutely loves flying high in the sky. With the love and support from his grandson, he was able to experience that thrill again. The article below describes this sacred experience for the both of them. The aticle was written by Boyde Huppert and can be found on www.13wmaz.com.

ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. - Rockefellers inherit fortunes from their Grandparents. Nick Atkins is heir to his grandfather's stories.

As far back as Nick can remember he's been hearing about his Grandpa Bob Jorgenson's 35 missions as a WWII fighter pilot.

"We hit Berlin with about 1500 bombers that day," Bob tells Nick as his grandson listens intently to an oft repeated story.

The conversation continues as Bob tells of an engine failure at 12,000 feet - and a rescue from Belgium. "Somehow they passed the word that if we're going to win that war, I had to get back to England," he tells his grandson as the two share a laugh together.

Their attention turns to the military medals that hang in a display case in Bob's apartment.

One medal is missing, but for the faded outline of the wings Bob was awarded when he began his flying service in WWII.

The wings are no longer in the display case because last month Bob pinned them on his grandson. It was Nick's graduation day from flight school at Laughlin Air Force Base in Texas.

On his first trip back to the Twin Cities since graduation, Second Lt. Nick Atkins stopped with his grandpa at the Minnesota Air National Guard Museum, which has in its collection a vintage fighter plane just like the one Bob flew on his European missions.

"I had six hours in the cockpit in England when I went on my first mission," Bob tells Nick as the newly graduated Air Force pilot climbs into the cockpit of the P-51.

"P" could just as well stand for proud.

"He got real good grades in college," Bob tells a reporter watching the exchange. "He would have had a lucrative career in civilian life and he chose to sign up for ten years with the Air Force.

Nick, who grew up in Edina, says his career choice is no coincidence. "I'm very proud of my grandpa; he's the reason I'm here today."

In fact, Nick is the descendent of two WWII pilots. His other grandpa, the late William Atkins, was an instructor pilot during the war, who later embarked on a long career with Northwest Airlines.

Before returning to his base, Nick planned one more stop: the Anoka County-Blaine Airport.

"It's not every day you get to take your 92-year-old grandpa up flying," smiled Nick as grandson and grandpa climbed into the small rented plane.

As the engine fires up, Bob launches into song. "Off we go, into the wild blue yonder."

The plane accelerates and lifts off. Sixty-five years since Bob Jorgenson last sat in a cockpit, life has come full circle.

Nick keys the plane's intercom. "Having fun grandpa?" he asks.

Bob cannot contain his glee. "Like old times," he laughs.

Independence is a part of ourselves. If we are put into a nursing home, we lose that independence. Home care agencies help the aging population stay independent and continue to be happy.

Kinnser ADL is the top rated home care software in helping home care agencies manage their caregivers, clients, finances, etc. Contact Kinnser ADL today to receive a free demo of our home care software!

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