Jul 27, 2015
Reported by Marcella Prokop and Lonnie Nichols | Good Samaritan Society staff members
When Cinda Ortman's mother, June, had back and hip surgery, Medicare helped cover the medical bills. The federal insurance program took financial pressure off Cinda and her four siblings, but the experience also provided an education Cinda hadn't anticipated.
Although Cinda works for the Good Samaritan Society, a long-term care organization, she didn't know just how complex and specific Medicare coverage is. Or that it isn't exactly free.
Jul 24, 2015
Administrators at Good Samaritan Society nursing homes in Minnesota applaud new state legislation they say demonstrates the value of residents and staff who provide excellent care.
The Minnesota Legislature recently passed the Senior Care Reimbursement Reform Bill, which gives $138 million in additional funding to nursing homes.
Previous Minnesota budget cuts tied to Medicaid reimbursements created a funding gap that hit rural nursing homes hardest.
This bill means nursing homes in rural areas now will be reimbursed at the same rate as nursing homes in metro areas of the state.
Adam Coe, administrator at Good Samaritan Society – International Falls, says the bill addresses the "true costs" of senior care: investments in staff, buildings and equipment.
Jul 24, 2015
At some point in life, nearly all of us will care for another person who is elderly, disabled or ill. Because of today’s medical advances, people are living longer with chronic conditions, and their caregiving responsibility often falls to family. This role can have great financial and emotional consequences both for family caregivers and our communities.
The Good Samaritan Society recognizes these challenges, and is working to create services and tools that help family caregivers and allow older adults to cost-effectively age in the places they want to be.
Consider these statistics:
- As millions of Americans age, seven out of 10 of us will need assistance from another person for daily activities. With changing family dynamics, many will lack a reliable support network.
- Currently 14 percent of Americans are over the age of 65. By 2030, that number will increase to nearly 20 percent.
- In every state, the value of unpaid care provided by families exceeds the amount Medicaid spends on the care and services provided by institutions to help people live at home. That's $240 billion in the United States each year.
- Family caregivers who retire early to care for their parents give up an average of $304,000 in wages and benefits to provide this care.
If we do not make it easier for families to care for a loved one at home, more people will need to be cared for in an institution at a much higher cost to society. We need to work together to imagine systems and services that will meet the needs of aging Americans and the caregivers who struggle to work, raise a family and care for their loved ones.
Center news highlights
Jul 23, 2015
Residents Anna Mae Sullivan (left) and Grace McClanahan look forward to visiting with lemonade stand customers.
(International Falls, Minnesota) – If you're in the area, stop by and say hi to residents and staff at our old-fashioned lemonade stand.
The Good Samaritan Society Way committee at International Falls developed the lemonade stand idea, complete with free lemonade, to offer visitors and passers-by a cool, refreshing drink during the summer and stir up some friendly conversation.
Residents and staff give out the lemonade from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout the summer.
"Tips" received at the stand support the mission of the committee.
Center news highlights
Jul 22, 2015
(Pipestone, Minnesota) – Ed Wussow spent his final days surrounded by loved ones in his semi-private room at Good Samaritan Society – Pipestone.
Before his death, Ed received end-of-life care. But without a private hospice suite, life went on as usual around him. His roommate watched TV, or visited with friends and family. Being with her dad at the end was important, says Ed's daughter Wendy Claussen. But without a private room to talk and be together, the time spent with her father during his last days was a challenge, too.
Click this video to hear Wendy's account of the experience.
From relieving pain and improving comfort to having someone around, end-of-life care at the Good Samaritan Society is an extension of the care that residents like Ed receive. But in many locations, a separate hospice suite isn't available.