Long-Term Care Worries? We Have You Covered

$85,000 to $100,000. That is the current estimated cost per year to pay for long-term care.

Don’t think you’ll need it? Think again. There is a 70% chance that someone turning 65 today will need some type of long-term care. Those numbers will go up, as people live longer each year. Those care needs may be in the home or a senior living community.

While these numbers can be intimidating, there are options available right now to prepare you for your long-term care needs.

A Place At Home recently sat down with Matthew Hooker, a financial advisor with Edward Jones. He shared there’s not a specific age to start planning for long-term care. “I’ve seen people do it as early as 40-45. Because they have seen it, and they are willing to pay to avoid it.” He advises if you start early, then you can address it before it’s an issue. And that’s the best assurance you can get. In the past, long-term care policies were a use it or lose it proposition. It was incredibly expensive to carry a plan, and the rates would go up. Often when people transitioned to a fixed income.

Fortunately, that’s not the case these days. According to Matthew, now there are great options for long-term care policies.

Some of these are hybrid policies, encompassing coverage for both assisted living situations as well as life insurance. He explained some of the options available to help you prepare for your long-term care needs:


  • Integrate long-term care into your budget (self-insuring): This allows you the most flexibility in choosing your care providers, but paying out of pocket for long-term care can be costly and can be a gamble for your financial goals.
  • Long-term care insurance – If you choose to go through an insurance company, you have a couple of options:
    • Traditional long-term care insurance:
    • Policies and costs vary quite a bit, based on different things, such as your health, age, location of care, and more. It can ensure you won’t deplete your assets and income if you need long-term care. It also offers flexibility and possible shared benefits between two people. However, premiums are not fixed or guaranteed. You do still have to pay them, even if you don’t need care later.
    • Life insurance with long-term care benefits: these policies are newer and can allow you to use the death benefit to pay for long-term care if you need to. Premiums here are generally fixed, and if no care is required, it provides a life insurance death benefit. There are additional costs with these hybrid policies, and the long-term care coverage is often less than with a traditional long-term care policy.


Saving for your potential long-term care needs can be like a roulette wheel. How you decide to plan for your future depends on your individual needs.

Matthew advises that whatever you decide to do to prepare for long-term care as you age, make sure you have a game plan that makes sense. “I take people’s priorities, their picture of retirement, and give them different vehicles to get to where they want to go.” He also shares that a large part of his role is interpreting what people’s needs really are. “Long term care, assisted living, nursing home care, people use all these words interchangeably, and none of them mean the same thing.” Matthew knows the difference between all of these, as well as the ever-changing rules and regulations, changes in legislation, and especially long-term care and assisted living. Everyone’s situation and goals are different. “I work with people and interpret whoever they are as a person.”

“Their experience? That experience is what you have to get down to, and really understand.”

Matthew will help you plan for how you envision your future. He does comprehensive planning, including full-blown insurance and investments, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, 401k’s, cash accounts, money markets, refinancing your home (which he does not recommend), estate planning, and trusts. Helping people is something Matthew has a passion for. He shares, “I truly love this profession, this job. I get paid for it, thank God because I would do this anyway. I love helping folks.”

Whatever your current situation or future goals are, A Place At Home recommends speaking with Matthew to ensure your needs are met. And to ensure you are set up for any potential long-term care needs you may have in the years to come. You can reach him by visiting his website, sending him an email, or calling him at 402-630-7379. With all the uncertainty, especially with what we’ve seen this year, reaching out to Matthew might be one of the best things you can do to prepare for your future.

Need guidance looking for in-home care, or choosing an assisted living community? Reach out to us today to explore your options!



10 Tips for Navigating the Holidays and Alzheimer’s

A Place At Home Caregiver

Taking care of a loved one who has Alzheimer’s this holiday season? While being a caregiver is both challenging and rewarding, the holidays bring some special challenges and require a prepared, proactive approach.

Here are 10 tips to help you navigate the holidays while caring for someone with Alzheimer’s:

1. Find Ways Your Loved One With Alzheimer’s Can Be Involved

Just because your loved one has Alzheimer’s Disease doesn’t necessarily mean he or she can’t be involved in the holiday celebrations. Even if it’s something simple like packing holiday tins with cookies, assisting in decorating or wrapping gifts, or signing and sending greeting cards – it can mean a lot to the person doing it.

2. Write A Holiday Wish List 

Some holiday gifts can be inappropriate or even dangerous for someone who has Alzheimer’s. So, take the time to create a wish list for your loved one this season. Get ideas from your loved one and others who know him/her, cross off anything that wouldn’t be a good idea given your loved one’s condition – and share the list online. Check out these gift ideas.

3. Let Others Know What To Expect This Holiday Season

Be sure to keep the whole family informed on all developments in your loved one’s Alzheimer’s condition. Let them know what he/she can handle and what he/she can’t. For example, patients with Alzheimer’s tend not to do well in conversations with multiple voices all going at once – one-on-one conversations are best.

4. Maintain Routine As Much As Possible

People with Alzheimer’s generally need to follow a pretty strict routine. It helps them avoid confusion, disruption, and needless stress. Thus, while there will be special events during the holidays, regular day-to-day activities should be maintained at all other times.

5. Consider A Holiday Lunch Or Brunch Instead Of Dinner

Alzheimer’s symptoms may be more prevalent during the evening hours, and it’s just harder on them to have guests over for a dinner party as opposed to earlier in the day. See if you can have people visit for a holiday lunch or brunch at Mom or Dad’s house instead of the (usually) more traditional dinner gathering. Or check with the Assisted Living community as sometimes Holiday meals may be offered.

6. Be Creative With Introducing New Holiday Traditions

Most of us tend to get stuck in a holiday rut, as it were, and the very thought of changing old holiday traditions may seem unsettling. But new traditions can be founded that accommodate the family member with Alzheimer’s and the fact you are spending a lot of time caring for him/her. Watching a favorite holiday movie together or meeting at a special restaurant are some examples.

7. Simplify The Holidays To Reduce Stress

As a caregiver, you will have less time to deal with the holidays than you may have had in the past. You don’t have to “skip” the holidays, but you probably do need to scale things back a bit. Little things like doing your Christmas shopping online or using gift bags instead of wrapping paper will save time and reduce stress.

8. Know Your Limitations & Ask For Help

Nothing can be more stressful than trying to do what you don’t feel qualified to do or what you simply can’t find the time to do. Ask other family members to help as needed and go to professionals for timely assistance and for help with anything outside your field of expertise.

9. Consider Holiday In-Home Care

You may not want to have your loved one move into a senior living community, or at least not yet while their condition is not too far along. De-stress the holidays by hiring in-home care and giving your loved one some special attention while you run errands. Contact A Place At Home – Omaha to learn how we can help your loved one during the holiday season and beyond where needed.

10. Join An Online Support Community

Finally, 10 tips are never enough – you need more! So be quick to join an online Alzheimer’s caregiver support community or talk with other caregivers to “pick their brains” for ideas and find resources, support, and encouragement!

In the end, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming for you and your loved one with Alzheimer’s. Remember that regardless of any memory issues your loved one lives with, it’s still important to include them in holiday events.

Avoiding Sepsis in Seniors

Often when a senior comes down with an infection, their immune system will respond to protect them. Infections could include anything from pneumonia, influenza, or a UTI to kidney, abdominal, or bloodstream infections. Sepsis occurs when the chemicals released into the bloodstream via the immune system overreact and end up causing inflammation throughout the entire body instead.

If you or a loved one has recently been in the hospital for a procedure, use a catheter or other invasive apparatus, there are three stages of sepsis to be aware of so you can seek medical attention and receive treatment sooner. Severe cases of sepsis in seniors can lead to septic shock, which is a medical emergency.

Stage 1: Sepsis includes 2 or more of the following symptoms.

  • Infection
  • High fever above 101ºF or below 96.8ºF
  • Heart rate higher than 90 bpm
  • Rapid breathing higher than 20 breaths per minute

Stage 2: Severe Sepsis occurs when there is organ failure and one or more of the following symptoms.

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Decreased urination
  • Changes in mental state
  • Low platelet count
  • Patches of discolored skin
  • Abnormal heart speed and rate
  • Chills due to falling body temperature
  • Unconsciousness
  • Extreme weakness

Stage 3: Septic Shock happens when the symptoms of severe sepsis go untreated. In this stage, the blood pressure will dramatically drop, and the results can be fatal.

You can prevent sepsis by staying up to date on your vaccinations for the flu, pneumonia and other infections, practice good hygiene, and get immediate care if signs of an infection develop. Always treat urinary tract infections promptly and clean all skin wounds promptly.

While anyone can get sepsis, seniors are at a greater risk since their immune system weakens as they age. Sepsis can quickly progress to septic shock if not treated. If two or more of the symptoms above raise red flags, seek immediate medical attention. If you or a loved one experiences frequent infections, reach out to us today to see how we can help you manage your care.

Veterans Hope Restored During Battle With MS – Jeff’s Story

Over a year ago, veteran Jeff Wesson began experiencing the devastating effects of multiple sclerosis, a disabling disease of the central nervous system. His physical health quickly decelerated and he was soon unable to walk or move his arms.

“My body was completely stiff. I suddenly didn’t have control over my own body and I just felt completely helpless,” Wesson expressed. “I had dedicated my career to helping others and now I could barely help myself.”

According to WebMD, multiple sclerosis, or MS, is a long-lasting disease which disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. MS can cause problems with vision, balance, muscle control, and other basic body functions.

As his life was seemingly falling apart, Wesson found refuge in A Place at Home. “I couldn’t perform basic tasks, I needed consistent help and that’s when A Place at Home stepped in. They provided me with the care and support I needed to be able to stay home,” Wesson said.

Due to Wesson’s debilitating condition, he needed daily assistance but he quickly found himself trapped in a corner when he was unsure how he would continue to afford in-home care. “I absolutely loved the services I was receiving from A Place at Home, but I didn’t know how I was going pay for it all. It just wasn’t something I could sustain for very long without assistance.”

Wesson expressed his concerns with his caregiver, William Chamberlain (now Senior Service Coordinator), who is also a veteran. Having experienced disability himself, Chamberlain knew that Veteran Affairs could help pay for Wesson’s care.

This conversation spurred into A Place at Home’s Client Service Coordinator, Aubre Philips (now Director) reaching out to the MS Foundation and Veteran Affairs which ultimately led to grants and government assistance aiding Wesson in paying for his care.

“Aubre went above and beyond to help me out. I didn’t have to do anything. She just genuinely cared and she did everything she could to ensure I could continue to receive the care that I needed,” Wesson expressed with gratitude.

Since he was able to continue his care, Wesson made major progressions over a six-month time frame. “When we first got Jeff, he was unable to stand or walk – he couldn’t even move his arms,” Chamberlain exclaimed. “But through physical therapy, he not only regained movement in his arms, but, with assistance, he was able to walk again.”

While there is no cure for MS, treatment typically focuses on speeding recovery from attacks, slowing the progression of the disease and managing MS symptoms.

“They helped me achieve things I never thought I would be able to do again. Without A Place At Home, I wouldn’t be able to move the way I can now. They helped me get movement back, but more importantly, they restored my hope,” Wesson said.

A Place at Home is dedicated to providing a continuum of care for seniors across the nation. Our clients are more than clients – they are family. If you or a loved one need assistance, contact us today so that we can help ease the aging process.

Is My Mom Safe at Home? Five Things to Look for When Determining if Your Parents are Safe

Is my mom safe at home? In Home Senior Care

As parents age, we naturally become concerned about their home safety. At some point, the senior(s) you love may need to move to assisted living care. But how do you know when it’s time to consider such a step? Let our Omaha senior care experts help you make a wise decision about assisted living for your loved one.

How You Got Here: Safety Steps for Senior Care

Over the years, you may have made improvements or accommodations at your loved one’s home to help them stay safe. These include things like grab bars in the bathroom, accessibility ramps for the front porch and more. You may have also arranged for senior home care assistance, or provided it yourself, so your senior could live independently, or reside in your home. Now, you may be worried that these home safety upgrades and part-time senior care are no longer enough to keep your elderly loved one safe. Retirement home living may be the next step in keeping mom safe and improving her quality of life.

When Should We Consider Moving Mom to Assisted Living?

If you notice the following signs, your elderly mother may need more senior care at home–or it may be time to move to an assisted senior care facility. Signs of unsafe home living conditions for your senior parent or loved one include:

  1. Missed meals, or weight loss not otherwise explained.
  2. Unkempt appearance.
  3. Suffering falls or accidents.
  4. Wandering, getting lost or forgetting medications.
  5. Seeming out of touch or becoming isolated.*

*Seniors who spend most of their time alone can become depressed, which affects their physical health and longevity. Seniors with limited awareness, inability to follow instructions, or those diagnosed with dementia may be unable to call for help, or evacuate their home, in an emergency.

Understanding Your Options for Senior Assisted Living

If you think it may be time for an assisted or supervised senior living arrangement, our expert team provides elder care resources that help with your decision. If assisted living is needed, we can help you find senior living facilities that match your needs. We can also help you understand financing and senior care benefits.

When you need help with senior care, A Place At Home Omaha offers you no-charge help understanding all your senior care options, including assisted living. Reach out to our senior living advisors at A Place At Home for free assistance. Contact us today. 

Is It Time for Assisted Living? 5 Signs To Watch For

assisted living

If you have an aging parent or loved one in your life, you want the very best for them – especially where health and well being are concerned. There may come a time where moving to a senior living community is the best decision. This is often true if you live far from your aging relative, and cannot be in their lives daily to ensure safety. If you are there daily, giving care, and you’re starting to burn out, this can be another situation where your loved one might do better in a supportive living environment.

When Is It Time for Assisted Living?

These signs can mean you should consider assisted living for senior care:


  1. Increasing care needs: If the senior’s care requirements are getting beyond your ability, you should admit this, and consider moving your loved one along the continuum of care – to a supportive living arrangement.
  2. Cleanliness and organization issues: Is your loved one living in a less-than-clean home, no longer keeping up with housecleaning? Is the senior looking disheveled and not dressing themselves neatly or possibly not bathing often? A new living arrangement can help them keep up–and feel much better.
  3. Isolation: Is your loved one spending most of their time alone? More social interaction, which comes with a quality senior living community arrangement, will greatly improve their physical and emotional well being.

  4. Safety risks: Is your senior parent having trouble navigating their two-story home? Does he or she leave the kettle or stove on, risking not only burned food, but a house fire? In a supported living environment, your loved one could receive help with meals and mobility, keeping them out of danger.
  5. Caregiver burnout: If you or other family caregivers are suffering increased stress when caring for a senior loved one, the cared-for person will likely notice. Your aging relative could then suffer stress and begin worrying about you. Also, if you’re burned out, or simply have less time to care for your loved one (due to longer work commutes, kids who need care, etc), the senior may thrive in a well-run assisted living situation.

Get Help with Assisted Living and Senior Care Options in Omaha

Sometimes wanting the best, and doing your best, means getting experts involved. We can to help you transition to a senior living community (for yourself or a loved one). If you’re unsure about options for senior living – or confused about next steps – get experienced support. Contact A Place at Home today!