Regency Nursing and Rehabilitation Center

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Today is the first day of Medicare open enrollment, as you probably already know if you’re over age 65. By this time, you’ve probably seen dozens of advertisements from the various Medicare plans vying for your business, and if you’re a Medicare Advantage member, you should have already received your Annual Notice of Change.

If you’re on Traditional Medicare—Part A and Part B—and you’re satisfied with your coverage, you don’t need to do anything during open enrollment. Your Medicare coverage will automatically renew on January 1, 2019. You will probably see a negligible increase in your yearly premium and deductible, but otherwise your coverage will stay the same.

If you have a Medicare Advantage or Part D plan, though, you need to pay attention this time of year. Even if you’ve been generally satisfied with your coverage until now, your plan may change for the coming year. Plus, CMS (the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) has announced some changes to Medicare Advantage and Part D for 2019.

To read more about Traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage, check out our posts on the subject on our other blog: Original Medicare vs Medicare Advantage: Part One and Part Two.

Changes to Look For in Your Medicare Plans

Your Medicare Advantage or Part D Prescription Drug plan sent you an important notice, called an Annual Notice of Change, in September. If you have not received it yet, call your plan’s customer care line to request a copy.

The notice outlines what changes to expect in your plan next year. This can be premium increases, deductible and co-payment changes, and changes to your physician network, drug formulas, and other important coverage categories.

Medicare guidelines allow Medicare Advantage plans the option to change their costs and benefits every year. They even have the option of discontinuing their contract with CMS.

Carefully review your Annual Notice of Change to ensure your doctors, services, and medications will still be covered in 2019. If you are unhappy with the changes to your coverage, that’s where open enrollment comes in.

During open enrollment, you have the option to switch to a different Medicare Advantage or drug plan, or drop your Advantage plan altogether and revert to Traditional Medicare. Even if your plan isn’t making any major changes this year, you may still want to look at other local options and compare them with your current plan. You might find another plan offers better premiums or coverage than what you currently have, so why not take a look?

You can use Medicare’s convenient online Plan Finder tool to search for New Jersey plans (click HERE), or call 1-800-Medicare for more assistance.

Open enrollment ends December 7.

Aging in place is a long-term care trend increasing in popularity. And for good reason, too. It’s an enticing prospect to grow old in the comforts of your own home, surrounded by your loved ones and prized possession.

It’s just this picture that the various aging-in-place organizations paint for seniors. They say seniors can have it all: superior healthcare, familiar environment, and the freedom to make their own choices. And many seniors do start off their retirement that way.

At a certain point, though, it becomes clear that moving to a long-term care community is the best choice seniors can make for themselves. Nursing homes today are increasingly home-like and comfortable—but they offer several distinct advantages over aging-in-place arrangements.

Here are four things we at Regency Nursing Centers can guarantee:

1. Increased Safety and Security

Seniors living at home are vulnerable to many dangers. Falls, fires, accidental overdose, malnutrition, burglaries, and scams are just some of the hazards seniors face, especially when they live alone. There are many technological innovations to help you monitor your loved one’s home and health from far, and if your parent isn’t ready to leave their home just yet, you should certainly make use of them.

However, many family members of elderly individuals confess that they never really relax when they know their loved one is home alone. When your loved one moves to Regency Nursing, you know they’re in the safest environment they could possibly be in. When we renovate a unit or build a new one, our entire architectural focus is safety. All our public areas are clutter-free and wheelchair accessible and our walkways are equipped with handrails for extra support.

Nobody can ever eliminate all accidents, but when your loved one comes to Regency Nursing, you can finally rest easy at night.

2. Constant and Reliable Assistance

Activities of daily living (ADLs) are the basics of daily function. They include personal hygiene, grooming, dressing, and eating. Our ability to perform these activities decreases with age, and many illnesses or disabilities can make it even harder to accomplish these basics.

Home health aides are trained assistants who come to your home to help you bathe, dress, eat, and do some light housekeeping. You can even have a visiting nurse or therapist come to provide daily skilled care. But when you need reliable, round-the-clock assistance, a nursing home provides the best options.

We’re proud of Regency Nursing’s compassionate and committed Certified Nursing Assistants who are always there to provide care with a smile.

3. Access to Top-Notch Healthcare

Our staff doctors are all leaders in geriatric medical care, and they make regular rounds to examine our residents and follow up on previous visits. Each unit has nurses on staff to dispense medications safely and provide any necessary treatments and care.

We’re also proud innovators in the nursing home field, as our facilities partner with MD Live Care to provide virtual medical appointments in the evening, on weekends, and over the holidays. Having their team of leading doctors on-hand for our nurses to consult with when a resident takes ill over the weekend saves unnecessary hospital and admissions, and thousands of dollars for our residents.

4. Mental, Emotional, and Physical Engagement

When seniors live alone, especially when they have limited mobility, they are at risk for social isolation. Loneliness and lack of socializing are known risk factors for depression, dementia, and even physical illness. Lack of activity can also cause cognitive and mental decline.

To combat this, we provide a range of interesting and engaging activities to keep our residents’ minds and hearts sharp and young. Between entertainment and music events, celebrations, religious services, and outings, our residents always have something to do and people to do it with.

And if someone wants some quiet time, or privacy with their visitors, they can always retreat to one of the many quiet and peaceful corners scattered throughout our buildings and gardens.

Regency Nursing: At Your Side

Choosing to move to a nursing home or other senior living arrangement is a big decision. It should be made with the input of family members, friends, and doctors. But when you’re ready to explore your option in New Jersey, we’re here to answer your questions and hold your hand through the process.

As you know, we have great BBQ's this time of year in our magnificent park at Regency Park in Hazlet.

Take a look at this photo I captured of our BBQ today, from our rooftop!

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