Loving Arms Elder Care Receives 2020 Best of Home Care® – Leader in Excellence Award

Warminster, Pa – Loving Arms Elder Care announced today that it received the distinguished 2020 Best of Home Care –Leader in Excellence Award from Home Care Pulse, the leading firm in quality assurance for home care. The Leader in Excellence Award is the highest recognition awarded by Home Care Pulse and is given to select home care businesses that consistently rank among the very highest in 10 or more quality metrics. As a Leader in Excellence, Loving Arms Elder Care is now ranked among the top 15% of home care providers participating in the nationwide Home Care Pulse Satisfaction Management Program.

This accomplishment demonstrates Loving Arms Elder Care’s long-term dedication to excellent care and quality improvement. To qualify for this award, 10% of Loving Arms Elder Care’s clients and caregivers were interviewed each month by Home Care Pulse. Over a 12-month period, Loving Arms Elder Care received high client and caregiver satisfaction ratings in areas such as caregiver training, compassion of caregivers, communication, scheduling, client/caregiver compatibility, etc. Using feedback from clients and employees, as well as quality benchmarks from Home Care Pulse, the Loving Arms Elder Care management team set goals to reach the highest level of excellence possible.

“Operating a home care agency requires 24-7 dedication to provide “quality care”. When Loving Arms Elder Care started over 10 years ago, we determined what “quality care” meant for not only us, but to the seniors we serve and to the caregivers we employ. We then implemented best practices to ensure “quality care” was being delivered at every turn. Home Care Pulse has helped us to measure the effectiveness of our practices and helps us in determining the necessary improvements so that we can continue to be the best at what we do!” says Aimee Read, Owner and President.

The Best of Home Care – Leader in Excellence Award highlights the top-performing home care businesses in the nation. Home Care Pulse believes that by honoring these providers, families looking for in-home care for a loved one will be able to recognize and choose a trusted home care provider.

“Our goal at Home Care Pulse is to empower home care businesses to reach their goals and deliver the best home care possible,” says Erik Madsen, CEO of Home Care Pulse. “It’s thrilling to see the efforts that Loving Arms Elder Care is making to provide outstanding care and employment. Loving Arms Elder Care has worked extremely hard to qualify to provide high-quality care and this award allows them to provide proof of quality to potential new clients and caregivers.” 

To find out more about Loving Arms Elder Care’s commitment to excellence, please visit www.LovingArmsElderCare.com or call 267-475-5995.

About Loving Arms Elder Care
Loving Arms Elder Care is an independent non-medical home care agency serving seniors in Bucks, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties since 2009! “We are passionate about our services and are committed to bringing high quality and consistent care into the lives of our clients.” To learn more about Loving Arms Elder Care and the services we offer, please visit www.LovingArmsElderCare.com, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram!

About Home Care Pulse
Home Care Pulse is the home care industry’s leading firm in satisfaction research and quality assurance. On behalf of home care businesses across North America, Home Care Pulse gathers unbiased satisfaction ratings from clients and caregivers and detailed feedback to ensure the best in-home care possible can be provided. Powerful online reports allow businesses to identify needs and take action to increase satisfaction, reduce caregiver turnover, and address client needs. For more information, please call Home Care Pulse at (877) 307-8573 or visit homecarepulse.com.

Loving Arms Elder Care named “Caring Super Star of 2020” for Service Excellence

Positive Consumer Ratings Led to This Industry leading Distinction from Caring.com

Warminster, Pennsylvania – January 2, 2020 Loving Arms Elder Care is pleased to announce it has been selected as a “Caring Super Star of 2020” for service excellence in home care. In consumer ratings and reviews on Caring.com, Loving Arms Elder Care earned a 5-star rating (the highest possible score) within the qualification time-frame, while also having a high volume of positive reviews and meeting other criteria for this national honor. Loving Arms Elder Care is 1 of only 2 Caring Stars 2020 agencies in Bucks county and they are among 466 Caring Stars communities across the country for 2020.

Loving Arms Elder Care was named a “Caring Super Star of 2020” for earning the Caring Stars award in 2020 and two additional years since 2017. There are only 139 Caring Super Stars of 2020 nationwide.

“Upon starting Loving Arms over 10 years ago, I was determined to provide consistent high-quality care by caregivers who were loving, caring, nurturing, honest and trustworthy; individuals who hold our seniors in the highest regard. It is a challenge to find the best caregivers in a saturated market, but we never give up the search and we always hold true to our standards. This award and recognition serves as a reminder to us that we are doing it right. I believe that it’s not about being the biggest home care agency, it’s about doing home care the right way.” said Aimee Read, President of Loving Arms Elder Care. “On behalf of our staff and leadership, thank you to everyone who shared positive feedback about the services we offer, and to Caring.com for recognizing us as a Caring Super Star of 2020.”

Online reviews help Americans research and select the best senior care providers for aging or ailing loved ones. In multiple research studies, family caregivers have indicated that they turn to the Internet and consumer reviews when narrowing their options among home care agencies in their area, and have relied on these perspectives as much as or more so than suggestions from professionals such as doctors or hospitals.

Originally launched in January 2012 as the first of its kind in senior living and expanded to include home care in 2017, the Caring Stars annual list has become a go-to guide of the best home care agencies nationwide – particularly helpful after families gather for the holidays and discover increased or urgent senior care needs for their elderly parents or grandparents. To be considered for the award, Caring Stars agencies met a set of criteria based on ratings and reviews from seniors and their family members. Caring.com senior care experts also conducted a reviews-integrity audit and took other quality-assurance measures before determining the Caring Stars of 2020.

“Congratulations to Loving Arms Elder Care for being among these highly-rated agencies achieving such significant praise from their customers in online reviews,” Caring.com’s CEO Jim Rosenthal said. “They stand out as among the best in the nation for 2020.”

Some of the positive feedback that led to Loving Arms Elder Care being a Caring Super Star of 2020 includes:

  • “I need the help. I mostly need them for the shower. I can’t find anything that disturbs me about it. I am happy to have them. They act very professional.”~Rita C.
  • “They provide multiple caregivers. If someone cannot make it because they are sick or have an issue, there is always a familiar face that comes through the door, and it is a face that care. I like the people. They are what makes the organization so much different than other agencies.”~Tom M.
  • “It’s helped us both tremendously. They have been assisting with reminders during the day because she has memory issues. They are extremely caring, and they have done a great job with everything.”~Lori M.

Read the full text of these reviews and others on Caring.com: https://www.caring.com/senior-care/pennsylvania/warminster/loving-arms-elder-care. To learn more about the Caring Stars program and view the complete winner list, please visit: https://www.caring.com/bestseniorliving

About Loving Arms Elder Care
Loving Arms Elder Care is an independent non-medical home care agency serving seniors in Bucks, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties. “We are passionate about our services and are committed to bringing high quality and consistent care into the lives of our clients.” To learn more about Loving Arms Elder Care and the services we offer, please visit www.LovingArmsElderCare.com, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram!

About Caring.com
With millions of website visitors, Caring.com is a leading senior care resource and referral service for family caregivers seeking information and support as they care for aging parents, spouses, and other loved ones. Founded in 2007 and applying cutting-edge technology to its social mission, Caring provides caregivers extensive senior care content and comprehensive senior living and senior care directories for the United States. Caring.com is also the #1 site for consumer reviews of senior living and in-home care providers, with about 250,000 reviews currently published and thousands added every month. Through a toll-free referral helpline at (800) 973-1540, Caring’s Family Advisors support families and seniors across the nation in researching and selecting the most appropriate senior living and senior care services for their specific Situations. For more information about our organization and the quality senior care information, resources and guidance we offer, please visit www.caring.com/about and join with Caring on Facebook.com.

“Medicaid Waiver” What is it? Do I qualify? How do I get started?

Posted on August 14, 2018 by lawp873

The name waiver comes from the fact that the federal government “waives” Medical Assistance/Medicaid rules for institutional care in order for Pennsylvania to use the same funds to provide supports and services for people closer to home in their own communities.

When trying to pay for senior home care the Aging Waiver is where a lot of people focus. The Aging Waiver is designed to help people who are age 60 and older who have been assessed and require services at the level of nursing facility care, needing assistance with activities of daily living (ADL’s) and have a financial need. If an individual qualifies physically and financially the Aging Waiver provides funds to pay for in-home care.

In Pennsylvania, the Department of Human Services administers multiple Medical Assistance/Medicaid waivers. Each waiver has its own unique set of eligibility requirements and services.

Waivers offer an array of services and benefits such as choice of qualified providers, due process, and health and safety assurances.

Currently, Pennsylvania has many waiver programs that are designed for specific needs including:

Aging Waiver
Attendant Care Waiver
COMMCARE Waiver
Independence Waiver
OBRA Waiver
Act 150 Waiver

The First Step:

The first step in applying for the Aging Waiver is to contact Pennsylvania’s Independent Broker (PA IEB)

The IEB will provide the path you need to follow to determine financial eligibility and physical eligibility. If you qualify the IEB will provide you a list service coordinators you will choose from and they will provide you with a list of home care agencies to choose from. Then you can begin home care. The Team is made up of three parts: you, the client, the Service Coordinator and the Home Care Agency. You the client have the ongoing option to change and choose different Service Coordinator and Agency to best fit your needs. For example, if you are working with an agency that you are not happy with you can switch to Loving Arms Elder Care who is an approved Aging Waiver provider.

A decision about whether you qualify will be sent to you within 90 days after PA IEB starts your waiver application. If you do not get a decision within 90 days, you can ask for a fair hearing.

Senior Home Care Agency or Registry?

Originally Posted on August 31, 2018 by lawp873

The thought of senior home care can be daunting. Many families are thrust into the home care maze when a loved one has an unexpected fall or surgery. Suddenly, important decisions need to made very quickly. This post will help to streamline the options and help families make informed decisions about senior home care.

Essentially there are three different options to consider:

The agency model (Loving Arms Elder Care)
The registry model (Home Care Connect, or Care.com)
Private hiring

Agencies make things easy. They have a pre-screened staff of trained caregivers. They can usually begin care at a moment’s notice and they handle all the things you are not even thinking about like payroll, insurances, and scheduling. When choosing an agency look for length of time in business, fees and the process they use to match clients and caregivers. This service comes at a premium though. Agencies may not be an affordable option for every family.

The registry model can be more economical than an agency. You will most likely save 25% or more when compared with typical agency fees, but the savings comes from your willingness to do some of the work on your own. Registries offer lists of caregivers in your area. It is usually your job to contact, interview and set up the care schedule. You may need to do some in-home training and make plans for the eventual call-out situation. Many registry sites offer safety net services like background screenings and complete payroll services. Much of this work can be completed online and can be shared with different family members. When using a registry, look for companies that offer local representatives that can guide you through the process.

Private hire is very prevalent but is the model that requires the most work. It can begin innocently, a nice woman from church agrees to care for your mother in her home. But have you considered things like: work eligibility, background checks, references, drug testing, payroll taxes and liability insurance? (Bartelstone,2018) Private hire works wonderfully until it doesn’t. What if the care suddenly increases? What if someone gets hurt? What if your caregiver suddenly finds themselves out of a job and they file for unemployment? These are real concerns that can end up costing much more than you are saving. Consider consulting a local elder law attorney for advice before hiring privately.

It’s a lot to consider. How can you possibly make the best decision for your family? First, have the conversation before you are forced to have it. Ask questions about what in-home care might look like. Find out how will you pay for the care. Is there a long-term care policy? If so take a look at it, understand what your options are. You are not alone. There are many professionals in your local community who are ready and willing to help. “Professionals including social workers, care managers, nurses and those at community agencies working together will ensure that the burdens of receiving care don’t compound the existing challenges faced by the family.”(Bartelstone 2018)

Bartelstone, Rona. (2018). Case In Point: Hiring In-home Caregivers. CSA Journal,70(1),68Bartelstone, Rona. (2018). Case In Point: Hiring In-home Caregivers. CSA Journal,70(1),70
CSA Journal
Alice Jacobs, CSA
Loving Arms Elder Care / Home Care Connect

Long Term Care insurance policy…now what?

Originally Posted on November 7, 2017 by lawp873

Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-Term Care (LTC) insurance is one option many people choose to provide financial protection when they begin to need help with the activities of daily living. LTC insurance coverage in Pennsylvania provides services in your home, a medical facility or a combination of the two.

Make contact with the insurance company and get the following information:

Policy Number: You will need this along with a claim number to reference all correspondence with the insurance company.
Find out whether or not home care is covered: Some of the older policies only covered care in a facility.
Elimination Period: This is like a deductible. It is the number of days the individual must pay out of pocket for covered services before the insurance company will begin to make payments, usually 30, 60 or 90 days. Some policies use calendar days and others use days of care. This is a very important distinction. For example, 90 calendar days could mean that you pay for care 2 days a week for 3 months (90 days), essentially paying out of pocket for 24 days of care to satisfy the 90 day elimination period. 90 days of care, on the other hand, would mean paying for 90 actual days of care, 90 days in a row or 90 days of care spread out, say 2 days a week for 45 weeks. As illustrated there is a big difference between the two.
Benefit Amount: The amount of insurance benefits that a policy will pay per day for covered Long-Term Care expenses. This can have stipulations as a maximum per day or a maximum pool of money.
Benefit Period: The length of time a policy will pay a benefit. Common time frames are 1 year, 5 year, Lifetime. Sometimes the period can be until a maximum pool of money is exhausted.
• Inflation Rider: Some policies have a rider that will increase the benefit amount over time using simple or compound interest. Simple vs. compound can make a very big difference.
Benefit Triggers: Activities of daily living and cognitive impairment levels that trigger the need for Long-Term Care. Activities of Daily Living (ADLS) are activities that measure a person’s level of dependence. Activities could include bathing, continence, dressing, eating, toileting and transferring (mobility). The policy will pay benefits if you are unable to perform a specified number of ADLs, usually 2 or 3, and/or having cognitive impairment issues.

All of the above information should be included in the policy itself. If you do not have the physical policy please ask the insurance company for a copy. Always a good practice.

After you have this information notify the insurance company what home care agency you will be working with or if you will be working with a consumer directed private caregiver. The insurance company will request a copy of the agency license or a copy of the individual caregiver’s credentials. The insurance company will also want a copy of the plan of care. Please be advised you are not locked into any one provider, you can change as your needs and wants change, keep the insurance company informed.

After the claim is approved the insurance company will require copies of care notes, paid invoices and any care plan changes on an ongoing basis, usually by fax.

All of this can be a little overwhelming, some people hire an independent Geriatric Care Manager to help and advocate and process the claim. Some home care agencies will provide the same help and advocacy and process as well.

Here is a link to the Aging Life Care Association where you can find a Geriatric Care Manager.

Additional Resources:
Pennsylvania Insurance Department, Long Term Care
Administration on Aging

Please keep in mind that all policies are a little different and this information is a general framework.

VA Pension Benefit Basics

Originally Posted on September 28, 2017 by lawp873

VA Pension Benefit

VA Pension Benefit is a supplemental income benefit for veterans, spouses and/or their surviving spouses. The VA helps Veterans and their families cope with financial challenges by providing supplemental income through the Veterans Pension benefit. Veterans Pension is a tax-free monetary benefit payable to low-income wartime Veterans.

The Pension has three levels:
• Pension: over age 65
• Pension with Housebound benefit: disabled and confined to the home
• Pension with Aid & Attendance benefit: disabled and require the aid of another person to assist with activities of daily living or cognitive impairment.

The monthly benefits range from $721 to $2846, as of 2017 increase. Click here for current rates.

To qualify:
65 or older, at least 90 days of service, at least 1 day during active war time, discharge other than dishonorable, financially qualify.

To apply as a veteran you need VA form 21P-527 or 21P-527EZ.
To apply as a survivor you need VA form 21P-534 or 21P-534EZ

The application process can be intimidating and complex. It is recommended that you work with a VSO (Veteran Service Organization) or a financial professional to complete the application. This should be a free service as it is illegal to charge a fee to assist in the completion of any VA benefit form or paperwork.

The pension benefit can be used to pay for a caregiver that can help a veteran and /or spouse with getting dressed, preparing meals, food shopping, driving to a doctors’s appointment, light house cleaning, laundry, bathing, companionship, etc.

Matt Read
matt@lovingarmseldercare.com
267-475-5995

I need a break from providing Home Care: Respite care for family caregivers

Originally posted August 15, 2017.

Time to Relax

If you are caring for someone else, you need to take care of yourself. No matter how much you love your job, you still need a break. A break can be something as simple as a long walk outside alone. A break can also be spending a week away at the beach with loved ones who you are not providing home care to. Taking breaks and vacations will make you a better caregiver. We can all relate to feeling over-worked, overwhelmed and tired. These feelings do not create a good caregiver. When we are well rested, relaxed and energized we are a much better caregiver. We owe it to the ones we are caring for to take care of ourselves.

So when you want to get away to the Jersey Shore for a week, what do you do? The first thing might be to have another family member step in. Have mom or dad stay with your brother or sister for the week.

This provides an economic advantage but more importantly it will give your sibling some perspective as well as empathy. Unfortunately a lot of us do not have siblings that can step in, so that leaves three other options: Home Care, Adult Day Care and Assisted Living Respite Care.

Home Care: Home Care agencies can provide a professional caregiver to be with your loved one in the home anywhere from 4 hours a day to live-in 24/7. There are full service agencies, consumer directed agencies and private hire options. The caregiver can help with all aspects of personal care, homemaking as well as socialization.

Adult Day Care: Adult Day Care is similar to going to school or day camp. Your loved one spends part of the day at the center and is involved in socialization with other seniors. They provide personal care and nursing services as well as activities and group meal time.

Assisted Living Respite Care: Assisted Living Facilities have respite programs where your loved one moves in for a set time, one week for example. During that time it’s as if your loved one is a regular resident at that facility. There are planned meals and activities. Also this option can let you and your loved one have an up-close and personal evaluation of a facility or community you may be considering for a long term solution.

Please remember, we all need a break.