Tag Archive for: eldercare

Mcknights Home Care – PACE expansion bill draws bipartisan support

A bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation that would improve care coordination for dual-eligible beneficiaries and expand the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly to a larger share of people.

“This legislation is a start at redesigning our current patchwork approach of delivering long-term services and supports,” Katie Smith Sloan, president and chief executive officer of LeadingAge, said in a statement Thursday. “This is a true win.”

Sens. Bill Cassidy, MD, (R-LA), Tom Carper (D-DE), John Cornyn (R-TX), Mark Warner (D-VA), Tim Scott (R-SC) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) introduced the Delivering United Access to Lifesaving Services (DUALS) Act of 2024 on Thursday. Already, organizations including LeadingAge, the National PACE Association, Welbe Health and more than a dozen others have announced their endorsement for the bill.

The legislation’s primary function would be to require every state to develop a comprehensive, integrated health plan for dual-eligible beneficiaries, according to a summary. The bill also would require every state to allow PACE programs to be established, open up enrollment to any time in a given month, and extend PACE coverage to people under 55 years of age. 

PACE centers serve mostly dual-eligible beneficiaries who qualify for skilled nursing care but are able to remain at home and in their community, a representative for WelbeHealth, a PACE provider, said in a statement to McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse

“The DUALS Act marks a crucial stride forward in expanding access to care coordination for frail dual eligible beneficiaries through an innovative model called PACE,” Amy Shin, WelbeHealth’s chief mission officer, said. “This bill is thoughtful and represents a significant opportunity to enhance access to the gold standard for quality of care for our most frail and vulnerable seniors.”

Dual-eligible individuals, who qualify for Medicare and Medicaid, are responsible for a disproportionate share of government healthcare spending, according to the senators. Innovative, cost-effective care strategies can create payment efficiencies while also producing better patient outcomes, they said.

“Patients dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid have much worse outcomes than other groups even though there is a lot more money spent on their care,” Cassidy said in a statement. “Making Medicare and Medicaid better work together makes patients healthier and saves money.”

View the original article

Brain Fog After Quitting Drinking: What Can You Expect?

You may experience brain fog after quitting drinking. Learn more about what this means and what you can do by clicking here.

Overnight Oats for Seniors

If you’ve heard about the overnight oats trend, you likely know how convenient it is for breakfast or a snack. But beyond the ease, numerous health benefits have made it a hit among many seniors.

There are variations to the recipe, including overnight oats with coconut milk. These alternatives are great for anyone who wants to avoid dairy. These are also easy to make but require a few tweaks to get it right.

This article covers some basic info on overnight oats with coconut milk and a step-by-step guide for making them.

Benefits of Overnight Oats

Besides tasting great, overnight oats have a lot of health benefits. One of the main reasons people love this overnight oats recipe is convenience.

In terms of health benefits, oats have tons of beta-glucan, a soluble fiber. This can help lower blood cholesterol, blood pressure, and aid in digestion.

It is also chock full of antioxidants. These can stave off tissue damage and arterial inflammation, which are linked to heart disease and stroke.

Coconut milk is a great, dairy-free alternative to regular milk. It, too, is full of antioxidants and electrolytes, as well as protein, iron, and other important minerals.

Coconut milk also contains lauric acid, which has antiseptic properties. This can aid in fighting off bacterial, viral, and fungal infections. Coconut milk also aids in digestion and has some anti-inflammatory properties.

How to Make Overnight Oats With Coconut Milk?

First, the only overnight oats ingredients you will need are rolled oats and coconut milk. However, there are some other ingredients you may consider throwing in for added taste or health benefits. These include:

  • coconut flakes
  • vanilla extract
  • Maple syrup or honey
  • Chia seeds (a great source of fiber)
  • Pinch of salt

When purchasing, be sure to check the fat content of the coconut milk. Full-fat coconut milk (or coconut cream) tastes great, but it is less healthy and will make the overnight oats’ consistency too thick. 

In terms of oats, choose brands that have a reputation for using high-quality ingredients. They will taste better and retain more health benefits than lower-quality ones. You can also find gluten-free options.

To make a single serving of overnight oats with coconut milk, first add one-third cup of oats to an 8 or 12-ounce jar. Then, top with one-half cup of light coconut milk.

At this point, you can add in any extra ingredients, like honey, salt, or chia seeds. Gently stir to mix, close the lid, and place in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours.

Overnight oats are great chilled, right out of the refrigerator. If you prefer them warm, pop them in the microwave. Also, if you do not eat them the next morning, they will keep for about three days.

Learn More About the Best Foods for Seniors

Now that you understand the key steps to making overnight oats with coconut milk, you can add this delicious, healthy recipe to your menu. It is a great way to improve gut health and digestion and start your day with antioxidants, electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals.

At WelbeHealth, we do well-being differently. Contact us today to learn more.

How Much Does a Wheelchair Cost on Average?

There are several reasons why you may need a wheelchair, but how much does a wheelchair cost? These are the prices you can expect.

When it comes to purchasing a wheelchair, one of the first questions that may come to mind is, “How much does a wheelchair cost?” The price of a wheelchair can vary greatly, depending on several factors.

Buying a wheelchair can get expensive, but don’t worry. There’s a way to get a reduced price on it, which we’ll discuss later. With that said, let’s take a look at the average wheelchair costs and how you can potentially save money.

How Much Does a Wheelchair Cost?

The cost of a manual wheelchair typically falls in the range of $100 to $500. These wheelchairs are often made of lightweight materials, like aluminum. They’re designed for individuals who have limited mobility but don’t require additional features.

Manual wheelchairs can be self-propelled or pushed by a caregiver. They typically have basic features, like adjustable footrests and armrests.

For those who require more advanced features, the cost of a manual wheelchair can increase significantly. Wheelchairs with specialized seats or custom modifications range from $1,000 to $5,000 or more. 

These wheelchairs are often recommended for individuals with specific medical conditions or mobility needs. They may include features like tilt-in-space recline, power-assisted wheels, or specialized cushioning for pressure relief.

Electric Wheelchair Prices

Electric wheelchairs, also known as power wheelchairs, are another option. They’re powered by batteries and maneuver using a joystick or other control system. The cost of an electric wheelchair varies depending on weight capacity, range, and additional features. 

Basic electric wheelchairs start at around $1,500. However, the price can go up to $5,000 or more for higher-end models.

It’s important to note that these prices are just averages and can differ based on where the wheelchair is purchased. Prices may also be influenced by insurance coverage or discounts offered by certain providers. 

Furthermore, extra costs may be required when buying a wheelchair. If ramps or lifts are needed, that’s usually a separate charge.

When considering the cost of a wheelchair, always factor in the ongoing maintenance and repair costs. Like any piece of durable medical equipment, wheelchairs require periodic maintenance or repairs.

It’s recommended to inquire about warranty options or service plans. These options will help to mitigate these potential costs.

Medicare and Wheelchairs

Although wheelchairs are pricey, Medicare Part B may cover them as durable medical equipment. This means that seniors can save a significant amount of money.

Even without Medicare, most durable medical equipment companies offer payment plans to customers.

Understanding Wheelchair Costs

How much does a wheelchair cost? We hope this article answers that burning question for you. As you can see, there are a lot of factors that go into the overall price of a wheelchair. Thankfully, Medicare may help with the financial load.

If you or your loved one needs assistance, we’re here for you. At WelbeHealth, our goal is to help the elderly thrive. We provide full-service care for seniors through in-home care, prescription delivery, and more.

To learn more about us, call 1 (888) 530-4415, or contact us on our website.

Top 5 Ways to Care For Senior Mental Health

In the famous words of Isaac Newton, “A body in motion stays in motion.” As you age, it’s important to stay active to maintain your body’s ability to perform various activities throughout the day.

Did you know this principle also applies to your mind? There are many things you can do to support your mental health as you age.

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, we’ve put together five of the best ways to care for senior mental health.

1. Eat Well

A healthy diet can help boost your mood and keep your body and mind feeling well. After all, around 20% of your daily calories go toward powering your brain, so it only makes sense that how you eat would impact your mental health!

Incorporate as many of the following into your daily diet as you can:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Legumes and nuts
  • Whole grains

Also, do your best to limit saturated fats and processed sugars.

2. Stick to a Sleep Schedule

Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule is one of the best ways to preserve your mental health as you age. Despite popular belief, even seniors need around eight hours of sleep every night!

To help you get restful sleep and cut the number of times you wake up throughout the evening, practice good sleep hygiene habits. Reduce as much noise and light in your sleeping space as you can, invest in a high-quality mattress and pillow, and put screens away before you get ready for bed.

3. Engage in Social Activities

Our relationships are at the core of our well-being. Having strong relationships can help you feel happier and even slow the progression of dementia and cardiovascular diseases.

Talking with close friends and family throughout the day can help you feel a sense of purpose and fill your days. If you can, set up in-person visits with your loved ones, as you’ll get a greater sense of connection than from texting or a phone call.

4. Incorporate Movement Into Your Day

Efforts to maintain your mental health can be greatly boosted by matching efforts to maintain your physical health. While you don’t have to push yourself to discomfort or pain, even moderate movement throughout the day can have lasting benefits for your mind, including stress relief and increased levels of energy throughout the day.

If you’re the kind of person who benefits from exercising in community, you have many options available to you. See if there’s a gym in your neighborhood that holds gentle yoga, stretching, or other classes accessible for seniors. If not, try your local library, or gather a group of friends yourself!

5. Exercise Your Mind

Finally, exercising your mind is just as important as exercising your body. Even a few minutes of brain teasers and word puzzles every day can go a long way toward maintaining the long-term health of your mind. Next time you hit a patch of boredom, consider picking up one of the following activities:

  • Jigsaw puzzles
  • Crossword puzzles
  • Brain teasers
  • Sudoku
  • Scrabble
  • Bingo
  • Solitaire

Caring for Senior Mental Health

By eating well, getting enough sleep, maintaining relationships, and prioritizing movement throughout the day, senior mental health can be preserved for years to come. Go grab a friend, a crossword puzzle, and your walking shoes, and get started today!

Here at WelbeHealth, our goal is to help seniors thrive. We do this by prioritizing human connections, pursuing resourceful solutions, and working toward a common purpose. Together, we want to help you gain access to live the life you deserve.

Want to find out if you qualify? Contact us today!

two seniors walking outside

Seven Simple Exercises to Reduce Blood Pressure in Seniors

High blood pressure in seniors can be worrisome. Utilize these very simple exercises to help keep your blood pressure in the normal range.

Most adults over the age of 65 have high blood pressure to some degree. This number is expected to rise over the coming years due to a combination of diet choices, the aging population, and unhealthy lifestyle choices. 

Hypertension can result in decreased blood flow to the heart and reduced oxygenation of your body’s organs. It can cause chest pain, heart failure, strokes, and more. The worst part is that it can easily go unnoticed without regular doctor’s checkups. 

Here are seven exercises to reduce blood pressure in seniors that may be at higher risk. 

1. Walking

One of the simplest and easiest forms of exercise for reducing hypertension is by going for short walks at least a few days a week. You should walk for at least 30 minutes at whatever pace is most comfortable. Doing so can reduce your stress levels, help with blood flow, and is a good way to burn off extra calories.

2. Jogging

If you want a more efficient way to reduce high blood pressure, you can also jog. This is a higher-impact option that requires a higher level of fitness than walking. It’s harder on your joints, so it may not be a good option for everyone. 

3. Dancing

A fun way to have fun and lower blood pressure at the same time is by dancing. Not only does it help you burn off stress but it’s also something you can do in the comfort of your own home. 

4. Swimming

Anyone with access to a pool can engage in swimming exercises. This provides a great way for anyone to get active without suffering much joint pain. 

5. Cycling

Cycling is another activity you can do both indoors and outdoors. It’s a great exercise for your lower body, helps burn calories, and gets your blood pumping. You also won’t have to worry about excess joint pain since you’ll be seated. 

6. Gardening

If you’ve just started up some new blood pressure medication, a safe form of exercise is gardening. Taking care of some flowers or vegetables in your yard requires a lot of bending over, sitting down, standing up, and doing minor digging. 

One of the biggest benefits is that you can garden on your own property, so you can start and stop whenever you like. 

7. Hiking

Anyone who wants to explore the outdoors and get some sun will enjoy hiking. How strenuous this activity will be for you will largely depend on the trail you choose. 

Some inclines and hills require more muscle power to traverse. However, you can also find plenty of easier trails if you want to take in the scenery. Just remember to wear sunblock while you’re out. 

Achieve Lower Blood Pressure in Seniors

High blood pressure in seniors needs to be avoided at all costs. Try out some of these different exercises if you want to become more active and improve your health. 

WelbeHealth provides full-service healthcare and support catered to seniors. Get home care, transportation assistance, and more. Contact us to find out if you qualify. 

WelbeHealth responds to Governor’s budget proposal

MENLO PARK, CALIF. – Today, Governor Gavin Newsom released his state budget proposal for fiscal year 2023-2024. The budget included several proposals in line with WelbeHealth’s policy priorities, including an increase in resources for Program for All-Inclusive Care of the Elderly (PACE) administration within the Department of Health Care Services and the maintenance of funding for key health and human services programs including CalAIM, behavioral health and housing programs, and ensuring access to health care for all Californians regardless of documentation or ability to pay. 

PACE enables frail seniors to remain in their homes while receiving coordinated, whole-person care and is a high-quality cost-effective alternative to nursing home care. In recent years, the number of PACE participants has increased significantly. 

“WelbeHealth applauds the governor’s support of Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) and other proven care models for frail and vulnerable seniors.  For every participant that enrolls in PACE, it saves taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars while increasing their length and quality of life, allowing them to live at home.  Whether from an economic, health care or social standpoint, this may be one of the best investments the administration could make,” said Si France, M.D., chief executive officer of WelbeHealth, in response to the proposed budget.

To learn more about Governor Newsom’s full budget proposal, you can click here: 2023-24 State Budget Invests in Californians while Safeguarding State’s Future

About Program for All-Inclusive Care of the Elderly (PACE)

Program for All-Inclusive Care of the Elderly (PACE) is a comprehensive whole-person health care program for frail seniors living with chronic health conditions and other complex needs. As both insurers and providers, PACE organizations are able to seamlessly plan and manage all aspects of care for seniors – medical, social and supportive services. PACE participants are over the age of 55, live in a PACE service area and have been deemed eligible by the state for a nursing home level of care. 90% of PACE participants are dual eligible for Medicare and Medicaid.

About WelbeHeatlh

WelbeHealth is a physician led, mission-driven organization founded to serve the most vulnerable seniors with compassionate and quality care, in a pure value-based model. WelbeHealth manages the entire care portfolio for participants including their primary and specialty care, ensuring they get to and from appointments, helping them navigate any necessary paperwork, providing assistance with activities of daily living, and ensuring they have enriched lives through social and emotional care. 

Contact: Cyndi Hillery, cyndi.hillery@welbehealth.com

WelbeHealth Deepens Commitment to Serving Seniors with Executive Hires

MENLO PARK, CALIF. – Physician-led healthcare organization WelbeHealth has added two seasoned executives to its leadership team: Chief Mission Officer Amy Shin and Chief People Officer Cathy Fraser. The leaders will play a pivotal role as WelbeHealth continues to deliver on its mission to serve the most vulnerable seniors in its communities.

As chief mission officer, Shin ensures that WelbeHealth’s mission is front and center in the community and among policy makers and our regulatory partners. She works closely with the operations teams to ensure that WelbeHealth is continually delivering on the highest standards of clinical quality and compliance. Shin has more than 25 years of healthcare leadership experience, most recently as chief executive officer of the Health Plan of San Joaquin, where she oversaw health care delivery for 350,000 MediCal lives in underserved areas of California.  Shin was the chief administrative officer at On Lok, the first PACE organization, and the Alameda Alliance for Health. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley and a Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Southern California.

“Amy is a tremendously well respected and connected leader in California’s healthcare landscape, and she’s spent her career doing mission-driven work for vulnerable populations,” said Si France, MD, chief executive officer of WelbeHealth. “It is an honor that she would choose to support and advance WelbeHealth’s mission.”

As chief people officer, Fraser is responsible for the people strategies and services that enable team members to effectively fulfill and expand the WelbeHealth mission. Her focus is on maintaining WelbeHealth’s commitment to values and culture, developing career pathways, elevating team member experience, and investing in diversity, equity and inclusion. She most recently led human resources at Mayo Clinic, US News and World Report’s #1 Hospital, and Tenet Healthcare Corporation (NYSE: THC), a large national healthcare services company. Earlier in her career, she served as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company and worked in various finance leadership roles at American Airlines, Sabre, and General Motors. Fraser earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Washington and an MBA from the University of Michigan.

“When we started Welbe, we started with the belief that we have to care for each other before we can care for our participants, so our team has always been the center of our culture and focus,” said Si France.  “With Cathy, who led dynamic people functions at Mayo and Tenet, we’re making a significant commitment to putting our people first.”

About WelbeHealth

WelbeHealth is a physician-led organization founded in 2015 that coordinates senior care, including all medical and dental care, physical and occupational therapy, transportation to medical appointments, meals and personal care services, in a fully coordinated program. WelbeHealth teams close the loop on comprehensive care to keep the most vulnerable seniors living safely in their own homes. WelbeHealth delivers these services through the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), a Medicare and Medicaid program. WelbeHealth operates four programs across California, including the cities of Stockton, Modesto, Pasadena, Long Beach and Fresno. WelbeHealth served more than 1,000 seniors in 2021.  For more information, please visit welbehealth.com.

WelbeHealth Executive Director Mindy Wilds Honored with Prestigious PACE Award

Mindy Wilds, executive director of WelbeHealth’s Fresno Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), was recently honored by the National PACE Association (NPA) with the prestigious Marie-Louise Ansak Award.

The Marie-Louise Ansak Award, named after the founder of PACE, recognizes the ingenuity, hard work and sacrifice of an individual PACE program employee who has worked to improve the quality of life for one or more frail older persons during the past year.

“We are proud to recognize Mindy with the Marie-Louise Ansak Award,” said Shawn Bloom, president and CEO of the NPA. “Mindy earned this high honor through epitomizing the innovative team player that is core to delivering PACE.”

Wilds received the award at the October NPA Annual Conference in Seattle.

“I love this model of care because we can think outside the box and provide common sense solutions for our participants and their families,” said Wilds.

Mindy Wilds with Award
Mindy Wilds with the Marie-Louise Ansak Award

Wilds joined WelbeHealth in February 2021 as the executive director of WelbeHealth’s Fresno Center, which provides medical care, physical therapy, social and recreational activities, meals and nutritional counseling, transportation and other support services to PACE-eligible medically frail seniors age 55 and over.

“Mindy is a model for all of us. Her tireless commitment and dedication to seniors in our communities enables them to thrive and live longer with greater connection, vitality and meaning,” said WelbeHealth CEO Si France, M.D.

About WelbeHealth

Founded in 2015, WelbeHealth provides comprehensive home-based medical and social services to more than 1,500 vulnerable seniors across California, including the cities of Stockton, Modesto, Pasadena, Long Beach and Fresno. The company recently became the first Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) provider to convert to a public benefit company, meaning it is obligated to take into consideration the concerns of all stakeholders while prioritizing corporate responsibility and sustainability.

An alternative to nursing homes, PACE is a Medicare and Medicaid program that helps keep people in their homes and communities. PACE programs are proven to reduce depression, lower hospitalizations, decrease rehospitalizations, reduce nursing home admissions and improve preventive care, according to recent data from the National PACE Association.

For more information, please visit welbehealth.com.


Jennifer Wezensky

Senior playing jenga

Love Your Brain: 5 Simple Ways to Support Brain Health  

As we get older, it is important to find ways to support brain health. About 1 in 9 Americans over the age of 65 have Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers expect that number to double by 2050. 

But, there is good news. You can support your brain health and lower your chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias. Growing research has shown that lifestyle changes can significantly impact our brain health. 

Here are a few brain health tips you can put into practice! 

Exercise to Improve Blood Flow in Your Brain 

We all know exercise is good for our body, but it also benefits our noggin! Participate in regular exercise that raises your heart rate. This increases the blood flow in your body and your brain, helping you think more clearly. Several studies have shown that regular physical activity may decrease cognitive decline.  

Improve your brain health by adding some of these activities into your routine: 

  • Walking indoors or outdoors 
  • Swimming 
  • Aerobic exercise classes 
  • Dance 
  • Yoga 

Fuel Your Brain with Antioxidant-Rich Food 

There is no magic food or supplement that will prevent the onset of dementia. But, eating a balanced diet is just as good for your brain as it is for the rest of your body.  

Eating a Mediterranean-style diet has been shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. That means limiting red meat and going easy on the dairy. You’ll also want to increase the amount of fruit, veggies, and fish in your diet.  

Next time you reach for a bite to eat, try some of these Mediterranean brain-healthy foods: 

  • Salmon and other seafood 
  • Dark chocolate 
  • Nuts 
  • Potatoes 
  • Fruit 
  • Leafy green vegetables 

Use Your Brain “Muscles” to Stay Sharp 

Staying mentally engaged keeps your brain sharp. Like the muscles in your body, it’s a “use it or lose it” scenario. Mental exercises can promote the growth of new brain cells, and this regular development of new cells may decrease your likelihood of developing dementia. 

Maintaining mental sharpness doesn’t require crosswords and jigsaw puzzles (though studies show those mind challenges can help). Even participating in stimulating conversation, picking up a new hobby, or playing a game of chess can benefit your brain health. 

Try activities that are: 

  • Creative – Pick up painting, quilting, photography, or drawing.
  • Challenging – Don’t just do what comes easy; try something that challenges you a little. 
  • Novel – Master a new language, skill, or concept that is unfamiliar to you.
  • Stimulating – Attend a lecture on an interesting topic or spend time discussing a book with a friend

Give Your Brain the Rest it Needs 

When talking about brain health, we don’t always touch on sleep. But, sleep is a crucial aspect in protecting your brain from cognitive decline.  

Beta-amyloid plaque is an abnormal protein that builds up in the brain of some people. The presence of this plaque is a known precursor to Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers have found that a lack of sleep can increases the amount of beta-amyloid plaque in the brain. It is important to get quality rest to support your brain health. 

If quality sleep is something you’re missing, try some of these things: 

  • Reduce daytime sleeping.
  • Speak with your doctor about adjusting medications that may be keeping you awake. 
  • Avoid looking at your phone, tablet, or computer before bed. 
  • Meditate prior to bedtime.
  • Avoid heavy meals before bedtime. 

Get Mental Health Support to Protect Your Brain 

Untreated depression later in life has been linked to cognitive impairment and dementia development. Seek care quickly if you are experiencing symptoms of depression or have other mental health concerns. Your primary care physician may prescribe medication to help alleviate symptoms, refer you to a therapist, or both. 

Speaking with a trusted therapist benefits your overall well-being, including your brain health. Your therapist can help you process grief, develop healthy coping strategies, and give you tools to overcome your mental health concerns.