Keene Medical Products Commits to Continued Partnership with Vermont Medicaid

May 29, 2018  
Filed under Aging Parents, Health & Wellness, News

The Department of Vermont Health Access (DVHA) and Keene Medical Products announced today that the medical equipment provider will remain a full member of the Vermont Medicaid provider network. Keene will continue to fulfill all categories of service to Vermonters, erasing a late April decision by the company to withdraw from the market effective June 1st.

 

Keene is an important source of medical equipment for the state’s health care providers and Medicaid members. Today’s announcement means that Vermont health care providers and members who use Keene products – including hospital beds, walkers, commodes, ostomy and enteral nutrition – can continue to count on those products and do not have to switch to a new equipment provider.

 

“On behalf of our more than 160,000 members, and especially the 4,000 that use Keene products, I thank Keene for their continued collaboration,” said DVHA Commissioner Cory Gustafson. “We are grateful that our members can focus on getting the care they need and avoid changes and disruptions.”

 

“We are committed to our Vermont customers, including those who receive coverage through Medicaid and Dr. Dynasaur,” said Keene CEO Kurt Filiault. “Our dialogue with DVHA over the last few weeks has been positive and given us confidence that our business model can continue to succeed.”

 

At issue was a recent change in Medicaid reimbursement rates made to align with changes in federal law. DVHA consulted with the Home Medical Equipment and Services Association of New England (HOMES) and its members prior to the change and has been in frequent communication with the association and its network to address implementation concerns. DVHA continues to make adjustments to ensure the new fee schedule balances the State’s commitment to its Medicaid members and Vermont taxpayers. DME companies can use the State’s Global Commitment Register (http://dvha.vermont.gov/global-commitment-to-health/global-commitment-register) to track additional changes.

 

DVHA and Keene are also collaborating on an outreach plan, notifying members by phone and mail that Keene’s services will continue, that they can disregard the company’s previous letter, and that they will not be required to switch to a different DME provider in the Vermont Medicaid network.

Today’s announcement was welcomed by Vermont’s hospitals and medical providers. “We are pleased that DVHA and Keene reached this agreement,” North Country Hospital Interim CEO Tom Frank said. “High quality rural health care relies on access to durable medical equipment, and a robust provider network is the key to providing that access. Keene is an important member of that network, so we’re relieved that this collaboration will continue.”

 

About DVHA and Keene

The Department of Vermont Health Access is Vermont’s Medicaid agency and is charged with improving the health and well-being of Vermonters by providing access to quality healthcare, cost effectively.

 

Keene Medical Products is a family-owned company with over 150 staff who focus on northern New England, providing outstanding customer service and the highest quality products at competitive prices.

 

 

 

Age Well and Lindley Food Service Partner to Deliver Meals on Wheels to Northwestern Vermont

May 17, 2018  
Filed under Aging Parents, Food, News

Age Well (formerly the Champlain Valley Agency on Aging), Vermont’s largest Meals on Wheels provider, has entered into a partnership with Lindley Food Service to support the growing demand and changing environment of Meals on Wheels.  Under the current model, Age Well oversees fourteen different food vendors across Northwestern Vermont.  “With this many unique vendors, it’s difficult to provide consistent quality control and food variety for the nearly 1,500 people we serve,” stated Age Well Nutrition Director, Chris Moldovan. “Achieving the highest quality of care for aging Vermonters requires we find a way to improve our nutrition program and food production model.”

 

With 25 years of experience providing quality meals for programs throughout the northeast, Lindley has been a vendor for Age Well’s Addison County meal programs for over two decades.  This transition emerged from a three-year process that involved a consultant, focus groups, social service providers, food program coordinators, and other community members. The goals for all stakeholders in this process were the same: expand options and improve quality for home-delivered meals, ensure food safety, provide consistent training and background checks forvolunteers, and meet the dietary, religious and cultural needs of those served.

 

Lindley will begin preparing chilled meals for Age Well’s entire four county region (Addison, Chittenden, Grand Isle and Franklin County), beginning in early July. Meals will continue to be delivered by the nearly 400 dedicated volunteers who provide a meal, safety check and friendly visit to seniors who struggle with hunger and may be isolated and living alone. “Chilled meals will be prepared by Lindley and delivered in place of the old-style heated meals,” said Moldovan.  “This change will provide a number of benefits for our clients; the flexibility to reheat or freeze their meals and eat them at a time that best suits them.  Another reason for changing from heated meals to a chilled meals model was our need to enhance food safety, nutritional benefits, and level the playing field in terms of food quality” explained Moldovan.

 

Lindley will assist with menu planning, customized delivery schedules, and create special menus overseen by a Registered Dietitian.  This will enable Age Well to provide therapeutic, medically tailored and culturally appropriate meals and ensure that we are meeting the needs of those with chronic conditions and our increasingly diverse population.  With the chilled meals also comes brand new packaging, which will be clearly labelled and specifically designed to reheat easily and safely.  The use of chilled meals is now considered best practice for Meals on Wheels programs across the country.  By moving to this model and partnering with one vendor, Age Well is taking the necessary steps to ensure consistent quality of our meals, meet a broader range of nutritional needs, and continue to combat the three of the biggest threats of aging: hunger, isolation and loss of independence.

 

For more informationwww.agewellvt.org

3 Ways To Help A Loved One Receive Proper Nursing Home Care

December 20, 2017  
Filed under Aging Parents

Elderly It’s an almost weekly occurrence across the country. Nursing homes face lawsuits over patients who develop severe bedsores that in some cases lead to death.

One week it’s a now-closed nursing home in California dealing with its third such lawsuit. Another week it’s a New Jersey nursing home sued by the family of a woman who died after reportedly suffering from a bedsore that wasn’t properly monitored and cared for. Read more

How To Protect Yourself From Holiday Season Charity Scams

December 18, 2017  
Filed under Aging Parents, Money

By Justin Lavelle
The holiday season is a time for giving and most charities are working double time to get a piece of the donation pie. Unfortunately, the holiday season is also a prime time for scam artists to get to work and separate you from your hard Read more

 Coping with the Holidays when Experiencing Grief

December 18, 2017  
Filed under Aging Parents, Health & Wellness

Now that the holiday season has begun, it’s important to recognize that there are many who may not feel particularly festive. After losing a loved one, it can be hard to imagine entering the holiday season when there is someone missing. Maryellen Corliss, director of BAYADA Hospice in Burlington, offers the following tips:

 

  • Know that it’s ok to do things differently. Some people may find comfort in following family traditions. Others may find the thought of following those traditions without their loved one too painful. Both approaches are completely valid. Since different family members may fall into different categories, it’s important to have open communication and be respectful of each other’s points of view during this time of difficulty and transition.
  • Have a plan. Difficult situations can be made more challenging when they catch you off-guard. Even though it still will not be easy, if you know what to expect, you have the opportunity to prepare emotionally. Once you have made a decision, do not create emotional unrest by second-guessing yourself.
  • Ask for help. There are people who want to support you but don’t know what you need. Here are some situations where you can provide concrete ways for friends to step in:
    • You want to have a tree, but need someone else to be the one to decorate it.
    • You could use another set of hands to help bake cookies with the kids.
    • You have decided to make a dish, or possibly the main meal, for the holiday dinner, but would prefer someone else deal with the crowds at the grocery store.
  • Determine what is: a) Need to do b) Nice to do and c) Nuts to do. For example, you need to eat dinner; it would be nice to have dinner at a family member’s house; it would be nuts to host a five course meal for 30 people. Focus on the “need to do” and if you feel comfortable, sprinkle in a few things that are “nice to do.” Do not attempt the “nuts to do.”
  • Take care of yourself. You will need your rest to help you cope with the physically and emotionally draining times. Your body and mind can also function better through exercising and eating a balanced diet.

 

 

Finding Love After 50

October 19, 2017  
Filed under Aging Parents, Health & Wellness

By Nicole T. Leclerc

If happiness alone isn’t a high enough priority for those looking for a relationship, add health, wealth and longevity into the equation.

Studies have shown that being in a relationship is healthier than being single. Men who live alone are at a dramatically increased risk of dying from a variety of illnesses. Finding a romantic partner transforms your level of happiness, fulfillment and outlook on life while also having tangible health and longevity benefits.  Read more

Keeping Your Relationship Hot After 50!

October 19, 2017  
Filed under Aging Parents, Feature Stories

The day I met the first senior referred to me by a local doctor, she timidly opened the door to my boutique and stage-whispered, “Is anybody in here, dear?” And thus began my work as a clinical sexologist with the most underserved yet largest buying demographic in the United States — baby boomers.

According to AARP, 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day in the United States. In my work as a clinical sexologist, I had an excruciating lack of understanding of the sexual needs and often complex issues facing post-menopausal women in our society. I, like so many other pre-menopausal women I work with, incorrectly assumed that most doctors speak candidly to their senior patients regarding what to expect when menopause hits. Imagine my tremendous shock when I heard that fewer than 10 percent of doctors invite a conversation about sexual function either during or after physical exams. What I have learned is that senior women are suffering in ways that younger women need not worry about. Common issues including painful intercourse, atrophy and the lack of moisture that normally plague women once estrogen is scarce are now compounded by experiences with radiation, chemotherapy and medications for overall health, leaving women bewildered and seeking answers. Read more

Getting Around After You’ve Given Up Driving

October 19, 2017  
Filed under Aging Parents

Hope Lindsay gets a ride from Laura Murphy, a volunteer driver with United WAy of Northwest Vermont's Neighbor Rides program. (Courtesy photo by Katie Figura Photography)

Hope Lindsay gets a ride from Laura Murphy, a volunteer driver with United WAy of Northwest Vermont’s Neighbor Rides program. (Courtesy photo by Katie Figura Photography)

By Stephanie Choate

Limiting your time behind the wheel — or giving up the keys entirely — can be a difficult step to take as you get older.

Read more

Who Will Take Care of Me When I’m Old?

September 19, 2017  
Filed under Aging Parents, Health & Wellness

Plan Now to Safeguard Your Health and Happiness in Old Age

By Joy Loverde

According to the Journals of Gerontology, “one in three baby boomers falls into the category of separated, divorced, widowed, or never married.” Millennials are also following this trend; a recent Gallup poll indicates that 59 percent of the 73 million millennials are single and have never married. Adding fuel to the fire is the decline in the number of people available to provide in-home care, including family members. Age, longevity, singledom, loneliness, and isolation is a recipe for disaster.

Who Will Take Care of Me When I’m Old?: Plan Now to Safeguard Your Health and Happiness in Old Age by Joy Loverde is a step-by-step guide to living the life you want for as long as possible.

Loverde has spent a lifetime interacting with thousands of true experts—old people themselves. Using their advice as a blueprint, Loverde outlines five sections to think about and get in order when planning for old age: personal readiness, housing, relationships (including beloved pets), chronic illness and health, and end of life. Who Will Take Care of Me When I’m Old? includes:

•  Real solutions for creating a support network

•  Tools to foster smarter decision-making including checklists, worksheets, and links to external resources

•  Tips on making a home age-friendly and essential questions to ask the experts

•  Suggestions for planning in areas such as livable neighborhoods, finances, LGBTQ, end of life, and dementia care

•  The latest products and services to make a smoother aging transition

•  Books, movies, songs, and TED Talks for insight and inspiration

A comprehensive manual to creating a quality old age, Who Will Take Care of Me When I’m Old? is designed to be consulted again and again as life evolves and circumstances change.

Joy Loverde is a consultant and spokesperson for the mature-market industry. Her work has been featured on NBC’s Today Show, the CBS Early Show, NPR, and in USA Today and the Wall Street Journal. She lives in Chicago. Joy’s contact info: jloverde@elderindustry.com  Website: www.elderindustry.com  Twitter: https://twitter.com/joyloverde

 

 

 

 

 

The Paperwork of Caregiving

July 24, 2017  
Filed under Aging Parents

Senior Woman At Desk Working In Home Office With LaptopBy Stephanie Choate

When someone is in the last stages of an illness—or suffers a sudden medical crisis—families can be left facing baffling questions about medical care.  Read more

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