Retire VA 22 - 12

hydration services or intravenous services
of fluids and total parenteral nutrition. "
Whitney Pugh, owner and founder of
Roanoke-based Agenacare Housecalls,
launched the business in fall 2019 after
working in corporate medicine for years,
tired of what she described as a broken
health care system.
The company comes to the home and
can perform anything that a general
practioner would in a doctor's office. Staff
can conduct COVID-19 testing, yearly
physicals, sports physicals, and strep
tests, give stitches and perform blood
work and X-Rays.
Pugh says though the flagship office
is based in Roanoke, her team can travel
all over the state to see patients, lending
itself to the Lynchburg area where it grew
a client-base over the years.
Agenacare opened in Lynchburg earlier
this year and plans to open a physical
office once it gets busier.
She says what she oftentimes sees is
kids having to care for their parents and
take days off work and coordinate for
transportation to doctor's visits.
" Sometimes they can't get them there
and it is very easy just to call us and have
us to come to the home so that makes a
big difference, " she says.
Established in 2012, Elder Care focuses
on helping with the financial strain of
taking care of an elderly loved one.
Whiter says when a lot of people start
caring for their elderly parent or in-law,
they're surprised at how expensive costs
are and also surprised at how little is
covered by Medicare and so they are
spending a lot of money out of pocket.
" And that becomes very overwhelming,
very stressful and eventually
unsustainable for families. And so we
help with that specific challenge, " says
Kimberly Whiter, CEO of Elder Care
Solutions. " Our mission is to place
families on a financially positive path
when they are caregiving as well as when
they're aging. "
She says 100% of clients are the family
caregivers which means the person who
is taking on care tasks for a loved one
is doing it in an unpaid way and 99% of
them are an adult child and they're in a
situation where they probably are seeing
the end of their parents money and have
12 / Retire-VA.com / RETIRE-VA 2023
spent down some savings or retirement
account and are recognizing they are
going to have to start paying for care.
That's where Elder Care Solutions
comes in and works to find ways for
people to figure out all the ways that they
can move to a more financially positive
space from different professionals.
" So we work with financial planners,
elder law attorneys, your insurance
brokers, both health insurance and
life insurance experts with Medicare,
Medicaid, veteran benefits and housing
wealth experts, " Whiter says. " And we
put together all the different strategies
that families have for covering long term
care costs and then we figured out what
we would need to know from a family
to match them up to those specific
strategies. "
She says then families are empowered
with the education of that plus they
decide what they want to do.
PLANNING FOR YOUR HOME
HEALTH CARE NEEDS
Plan in advance for how you can age
in place or keep your family member
at home: Whiter says culturally, once we
age, we would move to an assisted living
or independent living community care
home but with people aging longer, there
simply enough room. " Aging in place is
what is going to have to happen to get
the boomers through their link chapter
of life. Additionally, baby boomers are
living 19 years longer than the generation
before them, " she says.
Figure out the best way to implement
memory care: There has been a huge
uptick in cognitive disability, cognitive
decline and cognitive dysfunction,
Whiter says, which include Alzheimer's
and dementia. " A lot of home health
agencies have memory care as part of
their services so you want to specifically
ask what does your memory care look
like? What do you do? Because if it's not
something now, it very realistically could
be something later, " she advised.
Take advantage of technology: Devices
like Alexa Together from Amazon
allow families to keep an eye and ear
on their loved ones without being in
the home with them. The device sets
up daily medication reminders and
alerts, 24/7 urgent response and can
even detect falls. The Apple Watch
also has built-in features that can help
elderly or vulnerable family members
contact emergency services and loved
ones. Third-party apps can offer even
more assistance. " Just recognize that
technology is going to play a big role
in aging in place and start figuring out
what works best for your family situation
because not every aged person is very
comfortable with technology, " Whiter
says.
Look into adult daycares in the area:
A similar concept to daycare for a child,
adult daycares are a method to keep
your loved ones in the house longer and
many have memory care involved in
the care plan. At the end of the day, the
individuals get to come home and be
where they want to be, Whiter says. The
national average is $75 a day whereas
home health care can range from $25 to
$35 an hour.
Plan ahead: We never expect illness to
befall us and never know when those
things are going to so Sprinkel says its
important that each of us think through
what we would want complex health
care to look like for us and to have a
conversation with the individual who
would be expected to make those
decisions on our behalf if we're in a
place that we cannot articulate them
ourselves.
" We do a lot of work in both home
health and hospice as it relates to that
advanced care planning process and
so we strongly recommend that people
have a serious conversation with folks
who mean so much to you that you
would want them to speak and advocate
for you and then you get those things
documented so that your physician or
the healthcare team that's taking care
of you is taking the best possible care
of you and that your loved ones are
conveying their love to you because
they're advocating for what you wanted
in that condition, " she says. I
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