Quality Home Health Care

How Seniors Can Use Home Care Services to Help With Holiday Shopping

Home Health Aide Assisting Elderly Lady with Holiday Shopping

Home Health Aide & Elderly Lady Holiday Shopping

Holiday shopping is likely the worst part of the holidays. It starts the day after Thanksgiving with Black Friday sales. The Christmas sales take over after that and last through December 28th with the ever-growing popularity of after Christmas sales.

Shopping is a hassle for most people, but for the elderly it is even more difficult for a multitude of reasons:

  • The crowds and increased noise levels
  • Aggressive shoppers
  • Holiday road rage
  • Winter weather

Holiday shopping differs from shopping any other time of the year because you aren’t usually shopping for yourself. You are likely to be shopping for grandchildren or great-grandchildren who wants items that you are not familiar with like an iPod, a cell phone, or the latest music CD or DVD video.  Given the increased crowds and noise levels in the stores, not only is store help difficult to come by, but the shopping environment is generally more hectic and rushed than normal, which can lead to increased stress and frustration.

Shopping aggression and holiday road rage go hand in hand. Both are difficult for a young person to deal with. It’s much harder for a senior citizen with health problems to navigate the craziness. Shopping carts pushed around erratically so the shopper can get to their next item on their list that much faster, customers grabbing boxes out of each other’s hands, and increased frustrations from waiting on longer than normal lines are all examples of the hectic holiday shopping rush. All of these things can lead to increased levels of aggressiveness and anger in the shoppers around you.

Lastly, there are the winter conditions to deal with while trying to shop. Even in Florida, December is a cold month of the year, which can make it even more likely that you do not want to be on the roads or waiting on lines to get into stores. A great answer to this problem for those senior citizens who lack family members or friends that are able to help is home care. Many seniors have family members scattered around the nation and live alone in their home state. They may want to send gifts to their family members, but lack the energy or resources to get out and purchase them. Home health care services aren’t just for medical care. Home care staff members will come to your home to help you with many things. Some examples are:

  • ADLs (Activities of Daily Living)
  • Light housework
  • Retrieving your mail
  • Cooking
  • Running Errands

Holiday shopping falls under that last category. If you need someone more able-bodied to do your holiday errands, just call Boca Home Care. We will send an aide to your residence who will help do your shopping and even wrap and mail out your gifts.

Maybe someone you love wants to receive a gift that you can only purchase on the internet. If you have access to the internet in your home, your aide can help you do that, as well. Many seniors don’t know how or just don’t like to use a computer. Ask your aide for help. Home care services can be a great help during the holidays, as well as any time of the year.

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Travel Tips for Seniors During Thanksgiving And The Holiday Season

Seniors Traveling - Holiday Season

Seniors Traveling – Holiday Season

Thanksgiving and the December holiday season are fast approaching. Traveling during the holidays can be stressful and dangerous for everyone for many reasons. Bad weather, reckless drivers trying to get to their family gatherings as quickly as possible, drunk drivers, delayed flights, and the list goes on. Senior citizens may have a more difficult time than other drivers due to the effects of age on their driving skills and energy levels. Extra care must be taken by all throughout the holiday season.

Here are some tips for senior citizen travelers during this extra stressful time:

  • Plan ahead. If you are driving, it makes sense to plan your route and the times you will be traveling ahead of time. Pick the most efficient route for you. This does not mean the quickest route. You want to pick the route that will get you to your destination quickly, but safely. Sometimes that means taking the long way around. For instance, when traveling near large cities, you will often have the choice of a route around the city or through it. Unless your destination is inside the city, you may want to go around. Taking the long way around will allow you to avoid unnecessary traffic jams and accidents. Plan your route so that you are traveling through the highest traffic areas in the late morning, afternoon, or late evening to avoid the morning and evening rushes.

Plan ahead when flying to save money. Purchase your tickets ahead of time for lower prices and travel on lighter traveling days. You can sign up for many online services that will let you know ahead of time about travel deals during the holidays. The day before Thanksgiving and the following Sunday are the busiest travel days, so avoid traveling by air on those days. Flying on Black Friday will almost guarantee that you will avoid the crowds because most people will be shopping.

  • Take advantage of mobile apps. iPhone users can take advantage of useful applications on their phones. Smart phones can track airport information while traveling. Keep track of gate changes, flight delays, take-off times, and eating and bathroom locations (for those “gotta go now!” times). Some airlines have apps for check-in, tracking flight status, and even seat confirmation. Whether driving or flying, smart phones have great GPS applications that will get you where you’re going without having to look at a map.
  • Be sure to fill up. Driving in bad weather is taxing enough without worrying about running out of gas. Be sure to fill your tank when it hits the halfway point so that you don’t risk running out.
  • Always have a backup. If you don’t have a smart phone or prefer not to use one, take your map and use highlighters. Highlighting your route will make it easy to see where you are going. Add and highlight exit numbers and rest stops as well. The easier it is to see, the less stressful your tip will be.

Senior citizens may find it difficult to travel during the holiday season, but by following these tips they may find it a little bit easier.

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How To Take Charge Of Your Medical Bills

Medical Bill Management

Medical Bill Management

The cost of health care grows every year, according to Planet Money 18 cents of every dollar spent by an individual goes to healthcare. As a senior, the portion of a dollar going to healthcare is statistically higher so it is important to know where that money is going and how to keep on top of it.

Planet Money tracked where medical dollars are spent and they have not significantly changed over the years. The largest chunk of money goes to Hospitals at 37.3% and the next is Doctors/Health Professionals at 31.7%. Over 60% of the medical dollars are spent in these two areas so they are where you should focus your energy on taking charge of your health choices because our choices lead to the bills.

Health is very important but saving money does not mean skimping, it means making good medical choices. The first piece of advice is almost counter intuitive; go to the doctor more often. Going to your doctor at the first sign of a problem rather then waiting until it is an emergency room vist or a hospital stay will save your insurance company (and your premiums) and your out of pocket. For a true emergency like a heart attack the ER is the place to go, but, don’t let a cold turn into Pneumonia.

As they say “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” in health care that is twice as true. Paying for a dietitian or a personal trainer might seem extravagant but these preventative measures should save you from bigger more expensive issues down the road. Be sure to take advantage of your free yearly wellness visit under Medicare Part B, to make or update your “personalized prevention plan.”

It isn’t talked about often but negotiation is still an option. Talk to the business office about a cash price or an uninsured amount. Look in the Healthcare Bluebook for the ‘going rate’ for things so you can speak from a position of strength. If you are shopping around for medical supplies or devices look for the key words “accept assignment,” that means they accept Medicare’s approved amount as payment in full.

Timing is another thing to be careful with. If you have paid your deductible for the year then it is a good idea to schedule things before the end of the year. Conversely, if you have had a great year and have not paid your deductible yet, it would be more fiscally wise to defer elective things to early in the next year if it will not impact your well being.

There are dozens more tips and tricks to stretch your healthcare dollars, the last two for this list are; 1. watch out about putting medical bills on a credit card. Unless you pay your bill every month you will be paying much higher interest then if you talk to the business office about a payment plan. 2. Watch out for things that are too good to be true; awesome drug prices online or miraculous cures are most likely a great way to waste money.

Source: healthcare bluebook

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Boca Home Care Services CEO Honored at Florida Atlantic University

Joseph Bensmihen, began as a social worker and as he built his Home Care business on a social work model. Divisions of United Elder Care Services include: Boca Home Care Services, Boca Home Care (Medicare), Florida Guardianship Corp. and Miami Jewish Home Care. 

Congratulations Joseph Bensmihen,MSW

Congratulations Joseph Bensmihen,MSW

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Boomers, Sandwich Generation? There’s an APP for That

Smartphones for smart people. More and more health related and age related apps are coming out . Some may be silly, some are truly useful. Here’s a site with some to consider for yourself and your tech savvy older parent.


Take a look at  “25 Senior Health Apps Changing The Aging Process”  to see which may be helpful to you or a loved one.

You can track Health information, medication reminders, manage your health information for your doctors, a game for seniors to see when it is time to stop driving and many more.


So, if you need Private Duty Home Care or Medicare Home Health, call us at Boca Home Care Services or Boca Home Care.  For many other health related things try:


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