“There’s No Place Like Home,” famously said Dorothy in the 1939 blockbuster, The Wizard of Oz. And while that sentiment was uttered more than 80 years ago, it’s as true today as it was then—especially among older adults. According to a WebMD/Capital Caring Health survey, nearly 90% of those age 50 and older want to “age in place.”
Yet that can be challenging if you or a loved one are dealing with multiple chronic illnesses, advanced heart disease, or need some extra help with previously routine activities. The good news is that you don’t have to give up the goal—Capital Caring Health (CCH) offers a variety of programs and services designed to help you age in place with dignity.
“Aging My Way” is the theme for this year’s Older Americans Month, celebrated annually each May. Now in its 59th year, the observance is designed to highlight the accomplishments and contributions of seniors past and present.
To make it possible for you to remain in your own home as you grow older, CCH’s care and support programs are available to help when you can no longer make it to the doctor’s office, cook a meal every day, or manage advanced illness. Services are customized for your unique situation and are provided in the comfort and privacy of your own home. Further good news is that most are covered by Medicare (in full or at limited cost), commercial health plans, and some Medicaid programs.
Primary Care at Home
With advanced technology and the return of house calls as needed, our Primary Care at Home (PCH) program means no longer missing needed primary care services because multiple chronic illnesses, advancing age or disability make getting to the doctor’s office a challenge.
Our program is convenient and can make a real difference in quality of life by managing chronic illness, preventing problems from getting worse, and keeping seniors out of the hospital. That’s critical as the Centers for Disease and Control (CDC) reports that 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, PCH offers the following 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.
- Family Time: We work closely with families so each person understands the plan of care and their role in it.
An added benefit further assists Primary Care at Home members to age in place, safely and with dignity. Called Stay-at-Home Services,the companion program addresses a problem identified in our WebMD/CCH survey: seniors who rate their health as “good” or “fair/poor” need or expect to need, in-home support to remain independent and at home.
The free 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
- Handy-man services
- Meal preparation/meal delivery
- Light housekeeping
- Pet care and more
To see if the PCH program is available in your area, click here.
Better Support for Heart Failure Patients and Families at Home
Patients with congestive heart failure (CHF) and their families/caregivers often deal with a variety of difficult symptoms including shortness of breath, major fatigue, chest pain, loss of appetite/nausea, and depression and anxiety. For many, these worsening symptoms result in a cycle of frequent trips to the doctor, the emergency room, and hospital stays that add yet more stress and expense. With advances in care and a new CCH program, this vicious cycle can be broken with the right care, at the right time—at home.
With a focus on care management and self-care, the Advanced Cardiac Care (ACC) program is designed to give CHF patients and families the knowledge and tools they need to safely manage symptoms at home. Our consistent, comprehensive services help patients, families, and caregivers maintain control, and prevent a situation from becoming worse. As a result, patients with end-stage heart disease remain safely at home under the care of an interdisciplinary care team, working with the patient’s doctor.
The ACC program includes:
- 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.
The program also includes a Patient and Caregiver Handbook (34 pages), filled with practical information and tools. Developed with other experts—and reviewed by the American Heart Association for clinical content—the guide helps patients with CHF, their family members, and caregivers safely manage difficult symptoms at home. It includes:
- 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.
With the help and support of CCH, patients with advanced heart disease and their families can now rest assured that their symptoms can safely be managed in the comfort of home, instead of a hospital. That’s a big quality of life improvement for all.
All in all, growing older can be challenging, but it’s something we all face! While wisdom comes with age, so do aching joints, progressive diseases, and chronic illness. Whether those issues confront you or a loved one, Capital Caring Health has services and programs to help you meet those challenges—almost always in your “Home, Sweet Home”!
To learn more about how we might help, please call (800) 869-2136 24/7 or click here to Live Chat or find information and resources that make a difference.