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The elderweb website has additional information.

Here are some important sites that are not categorized:
Out of Hospital Do Not Resusitate (OOHDNR).
This is a link to the forms you must complete and have signed to prevent EMT's from attempting to revive a person who does not wish to be brought back.
Texas Medical Revocation
Information on having an elder's driver's license removed.

GENERAL INFORMATION

ElderWeb - This is a tremendous site with lots of information, both on eldercare and on resources. See the article on Long Term Care financing; most Americans still believe Medicare is going to pay for nursing home costs!

HIP Protector- Hip protectors are under-garments that help prevent a fracture in case of a fall. Falls are a leading cause of bone breaks leading to disability among older folks, so this is a site worth checking.

AARP - this is the main website

AARP Dallas - our local chapter. It has lists of meeting times and place for  Alzheimer's support groups, information about Trailblazers, the early stage group for both the caregiver and care receiver, and much more local information.

Caring.com - This site has a broad range of information, including tips for caring for the caregiver, information about various types of caregiver assistance, and a place where you can submit caregiving questions that will be answered by "Experts." I am one of these.

The ElderCare Locator - helps you find eldercare resources all over the U.S. This is particularly helpful when your parent lives in a different area of the country. Every county in the U.S. has an Area Agency on Aging but most of them call it something different. To find this in the area that you need it, use the ElderCare Locator.

Aging Life Care Association  - This is the site to explore for information about Care Managers, what they do, and how they are credentialed. If you are looking for a professional geriatric care manager near your family, go to the ‘find a care manager’ section.

Texas QRS website for information on nursing homes and assisted livings in the state of TX. Visit here to compare nursing homes, assisted living communities and agencies that provide care for older adults.

GOVERNMENT (return to top)

National Institute on Aging - This is huge website full of interesting and helpful information.The NIA has been at the forefront of the Nation's research activities dedicated to understanding the nature of aging, supporting the health and well being of older adults, and extending healthy, active years of life for more people. There are so many pages here that I can't mention them all; this is the place to search for clinical drug trials and results from previous trials.

Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services- DADS. This agency replaced the cancelled TX Dept. on Aging (no one in TX is aging, right?) What the combination means is that Aging services competes for the same dollars as the disabled, a tough call. The website has information on state programs and services for the aged and disabled, and how to qualify.

NCOA, the National Council On Aging - Lots of information about aging in general, statistics, improving health, fall prevention, reverse mortgages, and more.

Community Council of Greater Dallas - Community Council of Greater Dallas has local Eldercare information, how to use 2-1-1, and the Area Agency on Aging.

Social Security  

National Council on Aging Benefit Screeningthis is the place to see if you qualify for any assistance programs.

Medicare - Go to this site to compare nursing homes, find a physician, hospital compare, and lots more. Unfortunately its information is often a year or more old, so it does not reflect the physicians who have opted out of Medicare. Its nursing home ratings are often dated, too.

www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare/search.html   This is the link to search Medicare for nursing facilities.

www.medicare.gov/coverage/hospital-care-inpatient.html - This is the place to look for what original Medicare covers for hospitalizations

www.medicare.gov/coverage/ambulance-services.html - This refers to how Medicare reimburses ambulances

www.medicare.gov/coverage/hospital-care-inpatient.html - Medicare reimburses by 'benefit periods'.  Benefit period -- the way that Original Medicare measures your use of hospital and skilled nursing facility (SNF) services. A benefit period begins the day you're admitted as an inpatient in a hospital or SNF. The benefit period ends when you haven't gotten any inpatient hospital care (or skilled care in a SNF) for 60 days in a row. If you go into a hospital or a SNF after one benefit period has ended, a new benefit period begins. You must pay the inpatient hospital deductible for each benefit period. There's no limit to the number of benefit periods.

Medicaid   Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services - Medicaid is the most common payer for nursing homes. The TX guidelines to qualify for Medicaid assistance are very difficult to meet.

Medicaid Eligibility Reference Guide
The Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) created a Medicaid Eligibility Reference Guide to provide high-level information to providers regarding eligibility for Medicaid. The eligibility determination process is complex and providers should not attempt to advise applicants, recipients, or their families on Medicaid eligibility policy. Providers should direct any questions about an applicant's eligibility for Medicaid benefits to the Health and Human Services Commission.

DURABLE MEDICAL EQUIPMENT (DME) (return to top)

    There are 2 types of DME. One is medical: wheelchairs, raised toilets, disposable undergarments and such. The other is more fun, products intended to make life easier, or things that make welcome gifts for older folks.

Medical DME

CVI  (Dallas Wheelchairs )   I visit here often. It is located on the west side of north Central Expressway. They carry SuperPoles, lightweight wheelchairs, walkers, recliners, and lots more, and the people are lovely to work with and will help you apply Medicare if it is covered.

MaxiAids Products to promote independent living, a very complete catalog. Items for the blind, for the home, for hearing impaired, computer aids, and mobility devices.

Health Craft Products - This has a mix of products, most of them aimed at improving safety at home.

Texas Star Pharmacy - Located in Plano, this pharmacy is stocked with many helpful productsd; it is also a compounding pharmacy.

Dougherty'shas everything, and friendly staff, and they deliver.

Disposable Undergarments - High quality incontinence supplies

Disposable Underwear   -Discreet Urinary products deliver to your door, many types.

Quality of Life DME

The ‘Hurray Cane’ -  This handy cane has a ‘pivoting’ base and three lightweight, yet strong, supportive ‘feet’ that create maximum balance and support. The feet are specifically designed to be all-terrain and have textured grooves that provide non-skid traction for all-terrain activities. Most importantly, the cane is able to maintain constant contact with the ground, providing full time support at any angle. It collapses from 37½" to as little as 13¾" so it can be easily stored in a suitcase, drawer, glove compartment, or even under a chair.

First Street - This online store has unique solutions that support independent living. On this site you will find a touch screen computer with giant keyboard; one of my clients has this and it has been a tremendous help. There are also gift ideas, captioned telephones, lighted full page reading magnifier, and other goodies.

Silvert's - Disabled Adaptive Clothing for Women & Men, Senior Elderly Care Clothing, Shoes & Slippers. Clothing that is easier to get into and out of for folks with various kinds of difficulties such as arthritic fingers, bladder spasms, and other inconveniences.

Patterson Medical - Catalog of products to make daily life a little easier, not all medical.

The E lderstore.com Products to make life a little easier

DRIVING CONCERNS    (return to top)

www.keepingussafe.org/ Beyond Driving With Dignity
Keeping Us Safe  Saving lives...one family at a time
    This is a terrific resource for caregivers who suspect that it is time for a parent to stop driving. There are 3 sections; the first is a Self-Assessment Program for Older Drivers. This is done with the help of a Certified Beyond Driving with Dignity Professional in the elder’s home. No information from the assessment is sent to the DMV; this is a tool to help the elder make appropriate decisions about the future of driving. The driving evaluator comes to the senior's home and lets them drive their own car in their own area and grades them as to safety.  It is a great concept because it is not as threatening to the senior and allows them to "do their best" and know that the evaluator is objective.
     The 2nd section is a workbook that can be ordered to help you work through the challenges of an older driver’s safety. 877-907-8841 (toll-free) to talk to a representative.
     The last section is about how you can become a Certified "Beyond Driving with Dignity" Professional.
 
www.seniorsdrivingsafely.com  Good News! The ONLY Certified Professional in Texas is a local man, Brent Murray. Brent has started his own company called "Seniors Driving Safely"  ( ). His phone number is 972-809-0247, email is: brent.murray@seniorsdrivingsafely.com. He only does it on weekends now as he has another weekday job.

EMERGENCY RESPONSE SYSTEMS( return to top)   

These are the pendants worn to alert predetermined responders that the wearer has fallen or is otherwise needing assistance.

Mobile Help NowThis may have more features than the others and is a little more expensive. It works outside the home, has a 2-way communication system and does not require a landline; no contract.

Alert Response - This is a PAL, Personal Medical Alarm, that has a limited range GPS. It will also alert responders if the wearer falls and does not ask for assistance, in case they are unconscious.

Lifeline - This is the traditional Lifeline by Phillips, offered by Bonnie Destrual of Family Care Services.There are 2 types. The basic service is $30/month. The pendant has a button that activates a unit attached to the land line phone, and a live, awake person responds to ask about the problem. If the wearer has fallen or has an emergency, the Lifeline responders call first the 3 designated people listed on the intake form; if the client lives in a community Lifeline calls the main # and then 9-1-1. They time whoever they call to see how quickly help arrives, and they stay connected  while waiting for assistance. The 2nd type is the auto-call. If the pendant detects that he has fallen and he does not press the button. It automatically calls either 911 or the front desk. This is $45/month. It also has the basic features.

 CAREGIVER ASSISTANCE (return to top)

Lots of Helping Hands   This is a free website that allows you to organize family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues, everyone involved in the care into an online community. Doctor appointments, test results, recent falls, changes in medications, current photos – can be posted, allowing everyone concerned to be aware of the current status.

WellSpouse - An organization of spousal caregivers, this site has information on how to cope, support groups, and more.

Today's Caregiver Sign up for their weekly newsletter

CareGiving 

National Family Caregivers Association  has a new name: CAN, Caregiver Action Network
  

FUN & GAMES (return to top)

Reminisce - One of my favorite magazines, this related website has articles about the way life used to be, photos, recipes, and a monthly 'Do you recognize this car?". Great for discussions on visit, makes a wonderful gift.

When I am an Old Woman- The delightful poem, "When I am an Old Woman, I shall wear purple....", and information about gifts, and the Red Hat Society.

www.harpandsong.org - Patsy has a passion for music, and has learned to use her harp for guided meditation that is incredibly relaxing. It's a joy to hear the soothing tones of her harp. She plays in nursing homes for  healing, but she does lighter fare for weddings and parties.

NURSING HOME INFORMATION

https://www.nursinghomeabusecenter.com

SLEEP

https://www.tuck.com/sleep-aging/

SITES on SPECIFIC HEALTH ISSUES (return to top)

American Heart Association

Arthritis Foundation -  There is a buyer’s guide for lifestyle gadgets that make living with arthritis easier

Restless legs syndrome

National Alliance for Mental Illness

National Osteoporosis Foundation

American Cancer Society

American Lung Association

Partnership For Solutions: Better Lives For People With Chronic Conditions

Sleep  - How much do we need, and other information

Sleeping Pills and their Side Effects - ALL sleep medications have side effects and most are habit-forming. Get informed.

DEMENTIA (return to top)

Enhanced Moments  - A must-visit site! A book, videos, suggestions on how to enhance life for dementia patients, and you.

Alzheimer's Association

Alzheimer's Association Dallas  -Information about the local Alzheimer's chapter, including support groups and Trailblazer groups for early stage..

Alzheimer's Forum - Recommended by Dr. Kevin Gray at UTSW, this site has a weekly newsletter

HEARING LOSS The most devastating loss because it isolates

Callier Center  Assistive Device Clinic for Adults  Individuals with hearing loss, even those adequately fitted with hearing aids, often have difficulty in everyday situations, including using the telephone, waking up from sleep, watching television and hearing signals around the house. Audiologists in the Assistive Device Clinic demonstrate and provide assistive listening devices for those with hearing impairment.

Some of the user-friendly products available for your review in the Assistive Device Clinic include:

  • Amplified telephones.
  • Personal communicators.
  • Television listening systems.
  • Signaling devices.

The Specialized Telecommunications Assistance Program (STAP) provides financial assistance for telecommunications equipment and/or accessories for all individuals with a disability, including hearing, vision, motor or speech.The Assistive Device Clinic can give you more information about this program and help you with the necessary application.

Assistive Device Clinics are  located at both our Dallas and Richardson locations.
Read the
Assistive Device Clinic Schedule for information regarding days and hours of the clinics. Appointments can be made by calling: Dallas  214-905-3037, Map for directions, Richardson  972-883-363. The Assistive devices center is operated by graduate students, so be sure to call for an appointment before you come.

 Specialized Telecommunications Assistance Program (STAP)  Texas provides each of its citizens who are hearing impaired with one hearing adapted telephone. This link has the criteria, and an application. The choice of which phone is yours, including visual phones or portable phones with large letters.

Pocket Talker  One of my favorite devices, the Pocket Talker is about the size of a pack of cigarettes (hence the name). It has a uni-directional microphone; it only picks up sounds in the immediate vicinity of the unit, not background noise. It comes with either headphones that can be worn over hearing aids, or ear buds. It can be easily purchased at either Callier Center, where you will be able to try it out before you purchase. It costs less than $200 and operates on disposable batteries. It has a 5-year warranty. This is the ideal tool for talking with your care receiver without hollering at them!

SIGHT IMPAIRMENT (return to top)

iPad has an app for Vision Assist 

Lighthouse International  Resources such as magnifiers, readers, lighting to assist in adapting to life with   reduced vision

Dallas Lighthouse - Accessibility and independence - Talking watches - Big-button phones  - housewares - Oversized clocks - Magnifying mirrors - Lighting solutions - Games

Macular Degeneration - an incurable eye disease that is the leading cause of vision loss for those aged 55 and older in the United States, affecting more than ten million Americans.

American Foundation for the Blind

Texas Talking Books Program- Books are available on digital cartridge, Braille, large print, and cassette, and we loan playback equipment to be used with TBP materials. Our materials can also be downloaded from the Web via BARD by registered readers. And best of all, books are delivered right to your door. All of the items are sent and returned through the mail free of charge. The program offers more than 80,000 titles in fiction and nonfiction, plus 80 national magazines for adults and children.

Reading & Radio Resource - Audio books and radio program 24/7/365. North Texas Radio for the Blind broadcasts news, literature and talk. There is a small fee to enroll, scholarships are available. Free radio receivers are issued on loan if 'streaming' is not an option, or the radios are available for purchase.

Enhanced Vision Products  - "Innovative low vision solutions" catalog

PARKINSON'S DISEASE (return to top)

Parkinson's Disease Foundation

Parkinson's Voice Project         (469) 375-6500

www.parkinson.org

END OF LIFE CONCERNS (return to top)

Body and Organ Donation - 'Donate Life Texas' donor registry. My husband recently received a cornea transplant from someone who donated. We are grateful.

MyDirectives -Terrific idea! Instead of carrying paper copies of your directive and HIPAA, put them on a computer and give the doctors the website and your password. There is nothing to insert into the hospital computer but medical personnel at the hospital can see your signed directives. This takes less than 1/2 hour to complete, and all you have to do is remember your password. It also has places to put more personal information, such as who should be contacted, and funeral plans.

Campaign to improve end of life care.

Aging with Dignity - the best, most complete advanced directive

Willed Body program at UTSW

Anotomy Gifts Registry

One Legacy

Widow Net 

North Dallas Funeral Home   Family owned and operated, NOT part of a chain, lower prices than most chains. Contact John Brooks, 972-241-9100

DRUGS & MEDICAL ISSUES(return to top)

Geriatric Mental Health Foundation, established by the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry to raise awareness of psychiatric and mental health disorders affecting the elderly.

Rx Outreach is a Patient Assistance Program developed by Express Scripts Specialty Distribution Services, Inc. (ESSDS).  The program provides qualified low-income individuals and families with access to generic versions of brand name medications.

Medscape - A good site to use to look up information on specific drugs or  diseases

Certified Geriatric Pharmacists - provides geriatric resources and information on how to find a pharmacist knowledgeable about geriatric medications.

FINANCIAL PLANNING (return to top)

Tuggle and Russell - Lois Russell is a Certified financial adviser.

Kelly Kunst, V.P. at D.R. Saur Financial Services

Donna Thrasher at Your Serenity is a bill organizer. She comes to the home where she organizes insurance paperwork and other stray papers, will write the checks and let you sign them. She ensures that the all the usual bills have been received and paid.

STAY AT HOME OPTIONS (return to top)

www.netgrocer.com - Grocery shop online

Home Modifications - This web site, a university-based and non-profit effort, is dedicated to promoting aging in place and independent living for persons of all ages and abilities. Modifications can make it easier to remain at home; the site is a National Resource Center on Supportive Housing.

Simplify and Stay - provides hands-on help assisting older adults and their families with simplifying their lives, whether that means staying in the home or downsizing and moving to a new home. Their services reduce the stress and physical demands of sorting, organizing, disposing of and moving a lifetime of possessions.

Adapting your tub - Bathing in a shower is often safer than stepping into and out of a tub. This company will adapt your tub. They work with Access Conversions to create a safer bathroom.

Independent Living Design - Adam does remarkable work. He designs modifications to make the home safer, and they look better than the original.

Helping Hands Handy Services  - Linda Calvert and her staff widen doors, remake showers for wheelchair access, install grab bars, work on thresholds to lower them, build wheelchair ramps, and so much more. Linda is courteous, punctual, and her fees are reasonable

LEGAL INFORMATION (return to top)

     Most lawyers are NOT aware of specific age-related issues or of the changes in Texas elderlaw. That does not stop them from charging you for out-dated or erroneous advice.  Ask if your attorney is a member of NAELA, or knows about it.  Caregiver issues often are about guardianship, which is very difficult in TX.  Most attorneys want to advise about estate issues because there is money in it.  Be careful out there!

John McNair usually does not charge for an initial consultation, and he will come to the client's house if necessary (small fee). He is well known as a speaker on Veteran's benefits and Medicaid. John comes to every DAGS meeting.

Lori Peters for information on competency and guardianship issues.

The Hale Law Firm .

Jack Wilburn

National Academy of ElderLaw Attorneys- Many of these lawyers want to advise you how to protect your assets so  your care receiver can go into a Medicaid nursing home, and the rest of us pay for his care. Visit a nursing home that accepts Medicaid, and you will never put anyone you love there unless there is no alternative!

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