As this Fourth of July approaches, many Americans will give more thought than usual to what “independence” and “freedom” mean. After all, we’ve just emerged from more than a year of lockdowns, mask-wearing, and other restrictions and are eager to return to pre-pandemic life, including in-person get-togethers over burgers and beers.

But after a much-needed holiday from the stress and anxiety of 2020—and the last of the fireworks have cleared the air—it may be time for you and your loved ones to think about your independence…now and in the future. Because the hard truth is that advanced age or serious illness can limit a person’s ability to perform daily activities, putting independence and the freedom to remain at home at risk.

Yet that’s exactly what most seniors desire for their later years. According to a recent WebMD/Capital Caring Health survey, nearly 90% of those age 50 and older want to “age in place.”

Capital Caring Health can help you meet that goal and remain independent. When you or your loved ones are no longer able to make it to the doctor’s office, cook a meal every day, or manage an advanced illness, we offer a variety of care and support programs tailored to each person’s unique situation. And the best news is our services are almost always provided in the comfort and privacy of your own home. Most are covered by Medicare (in full or at limited cost) as well as by commercial health plans, and some Medicaid programs where coverage, restrictions, and cost-sharing may vary.

Primary Care at Home

According to the Centers for Disease and Control (CDC), 80% of seniors are affected by at least one of the following chronic conditions: heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, stroke, lung disease, or diabetes. A full 60% have multiple chronic conditions.

For those who are 55 or older and home-limited by advanced illness or disability, CCH can help stave off further deterioration even as they stay put. Through Primary Care at Home, we offer the following convenient programs and services:

  • House Calls: Our doctors, nurse practitioners, and social workers—all experienced in caring for older adults with advanced illness—come to you, instead of the other way around.
  • Mobile Technology: We can perform sophisticated diagnostic tests (blood work, X-rays, ultrasound and more) right in your own home. An electronic portal eases communication between you and your medical team.
  • 24/7 Care Coordination: Our team is available by phone, day in and day out, to arrange for urgent and specialty care, support services, and other medical needs such as medication management to help you age at home with dignity.
  • Family Time: We work closely with families so each person understands the plan of care and their role in it.

As an added benefit for Primary Care at Home members, we offer a free, companion program that further helps patients age in place. Called Stay-at-Home Services, the program involves a team of Social Workers, Community Health Workers, and others who, in consultation with patients and family members, can arrange for supportive, ancillary needs such as:

  • Pharmacy delivery
  • Transportation
  • Rehab
  • Handy-man services
  • Meal preparation/meal delivery
  • Light housekeeping
  • Pet care and more

To see if we offer the PCH program in your area, click here.

Advanced Cardiac Care

Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a leading cause of hospitalization, resulting in more than one million admissions annually. Furthermore, many CHF patients make frequent visits to the doctor’s office or emergency room due to breathing difficulties, fatigue, and other worsening symptoms. Without the right care, at the right time, such patterns can last for months or even years.

CCH’s Advanced Cardiac Care (ACC) program assures a consistent, comprehensive home-based approach to all heart failure patients in our care. Families also receive the support, information, and education needed to make sure symptoms can be safely managed at home, preventing a situation from growing worse and landing the patient in the hospital. Working in tandem with the CHF patient’s doctor, our interdisciplinary care team provides:

  • Regular visits and check-in calls by a nurse with specialized training
  • Patient education customized for each patient and family
  • Medications to help control symptoms
  • Additional supportive care by request—from a social worker, nurse assistant, chaplain, counselor, and/or a volunteer.

As part of the program, CCH and other experts also developed The Patient and Caregiver Handbook—a practical guide to help manage the CHF patient at home including:

  • Symptom management and self-care tips
  • Information on medications and diet
  • Tools such as a chart to monitor symptoms and a log to track blood pressure and weight
  • An action plan with guidance based on how a patient feels—for example, when to call a member of the care team or what actions one can safely take at home.

Copies of the Patient and Caregiver Handbook (34 pages) may be downloaded here or you may request a print copy here.

Advanced Illness/Palliative Care  

Advanced illness/palliative care helps those living with serious illness through specialized medical care focused on relieving symptoms like pain and stress. With the goal of improving quality of life for both patients and families, such care is especially helpful for those suffering from a progressive illness, dementia, or neurological issues including Parkinson’s disease or stroke. And CCH’s advanced illness and palliative care is available to anyone—at any age or stage of disease, even as physicians strive to cure the patient.

While specific services vary for each individual case, in general the CCH team works with the patient’s doctor and specialists to assist with:

  • Expert symptom management
  • Help clarifying information and options
  • Assistance in finding needed resources, including transportation and insurance coverage
  • Addressing any concerns about the illness

Care can be provided in a variety of different settings including homes, hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, and other locations.

Hospice Care

Ultimately, achieving life-long independence is about choosing how we want to live and, when the time comes, how and where we want to spend our final days. Capital Caring Health can help you and your loved ones realize your last wishes, 95% of the time in the peace and comfort of your own home.

Hospice is a type of specialized medical care that provides compassionate physical, emotional, spiritual, and practical support to people in the end stage of disease. A central focus of the interdisciplinary team of experts—nurses, home health aides, social workers, chaplains, supervising physicians, nurse practitioners, and others—is care designed to relieve pain and other symptoms. Services include:

  • 24/7 on-call support
  • Medical equipment and supplies
  • Medications to control symptoms and pain
  • Counseling and spiritual support
  • Light housekeeping
  • Limited respite care

With hospice’s dedication to symptom relief and support, many critically ill people are better able to focus on what is important to them during this stage of life—bringing a better quality of life to individuals and families in the time that remains.

To learn more about CCH hospice services, click here.

So wherever you and your loved ones fall on life’s continuum, know that when the time is right and you need help, a little or a lot, Capital Caring Health is here for you. Together, we can make every day Independence Day.