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Happy Older Americans Month!

older-americans-monthDid you know that May is Older Americans Month? The Administration for Community Living has a web page dedicated to this annual celebration honoring the contributions that older adults make every day and in every way. You can visit to participate in the 2016 theme of Blaze a Trail. Better yet, find a wonderful older adult in your life and go there with them, posting a selfie of how your favorite older American is blazing a trail and making a difference in this world!

Last year, the month of May also marked the 50th anniversary of the Older Americans Act (OAA). Decades ago, there were fewer social services for older adults. That meant greater pressure on children or, worse, that some of our senior citizens were going without the basics like a hot meal. OAA allowed for programs such as meals-on-wheels, home and community based long term care, and area senior centers. OAA also supports in-home services that allow our elders to age in place and do so with dignity.

Some of us take for granted that we can have quality healthcare at home, making it easier to recover from surgery or illness or to simply manage chronic health issues. When you’re not feeling well, even simple tasks are harder and it can be stressful just to get to a doctor’s office or healthcare facility. A professional home health care agency who can come to you can be such a relief.

It’s probably not a coincidence that May is also time for National Nurses Week (May 6 to 12) and National Nursing Home Week (May 8 to 14). As we age, we need these types of resources and appreciate the skills and care they provide. Of course, older adults are different today than they were when the OAA was created. Today, people are not only living healthier, longer lives but more active lives as well.

Sometimes, an active life means a tumble or a pulled muscle. You might even need surgery and rehab to get back your full range of motion. Compared to previous generations, today’s healthcare consumers are tech savvy and advocate for themselves. They want access to nursing services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They expect experienced and highly trained nurses and therapists.

While it may amaze those who once dreamt of the OAA, these demands are reasonable in 2016. If you are asking anything less of your home health provider, you’re cheating yourself.

Companies like Atrinity Home Health put you first, day after day, week after week, throughout the year by delivering a high level of care and treatment following an illness, injury, surgery or inpatient stay.

This month, switch things around and thank a nurse or take a moment to visit someone in a nursing home, even if it’s only to tell a staff member that they’re something special. May is a good time to remember that it’s the little things in life that count and our older Americans are rich with experiences that should be treasured.

Happy Older Americans Month!

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Selecting the Right Home Health Care Provider

comprehensive-careIf your car spends too much time with your mechanic, do you assume the car is a lemon and start shopping for a replacement? What if you need rehabilitation at home to recover from an accident or illness but keep returning to the hospital? Buying a new body isn’t an option.

However, perhaps the car is really a good vehicle and your body can get and stay healthy; perhaps the problem is the quality of care. Finding the right home health care agency is very important but challenging because few of us will take the time to compare the quality of care between healthcare providers until we experience an illness or injury. At that point, we don’t feel well and research just isn’t fun.

What is the best way to find the right home health care solutions for you or a loved one? Having a set of questions ready is a good place to start:

What is the agency’s re-admission rate?

Just as a repair shop’s reputation indicates if you will spend more than you should on your car, a home health care agency’s re-admission rate is an important tool in examining the effectiveness of treatment you might receive there. A high rate would be difficult to explain away as a large population of very ill people who just can’t seem to get better. The likelihood is that the care is not appropriate or delivered in a way that is just not helping the patient. Positive outcomes for other patients means better care for you.

What resources are available?

Very few car parts wear out the day before a warranty expires; it’s more likely we find ourselves in need of medical care later in the evening or on weekends. You will want access to nursing services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and you will want those people to be experienced and highly trained highly trained nurses and therapists.

Is the staff trustworthy?

The best home health care agencies will check employee references thoroughly. A home care provider is, by definition, invited into your home and the home health care provider should take the time to vet the people who come to you, not just for professional skills but for trustworthiness, too.

How will you pay for these services?

You’ve done the right thing by ensuring your insurance coverage is appropriate so why pick a home health care provider that doesn’t accept your insurance? Health care is expensive so you’ll want a reasonable way to pay for your individualized care and the support you need.

Are the technology and techniques up to date?

Advances in medicine are always happening. You deserve the best care available, with the most experienced clinical team and trained therapists behind those gadgets.

For example, Atrinity Home Health is Connecticut’s only home health provider that utilizes Patterned Electrical Neuromuscular Stimulation (PENS) in a home setting. PENS is a proven way to offer therapeutic success when a patient is limited in voluntary movements because it can be applied to nerves, sensory neurons, muscle stretch receptors and muscles to induce exercise.

Only highly trained professionals can provide specialized treatments in your home so make sure you get the best care possible from a provider that has a proven reputation. Atrinity Home Health’s re-hospitalization prevention achievement and star ratings are indicators of the range of services and quality care provided by staff that cares about your health and future.