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Office Hour Change

Effective January 16, 2015:

Monday – Thursday
9:00am - 5:00pm

Friday
9:00am - Noon

We will be unavailable for appointments or phone calls on Friday afternoons, so that we may finalize our work for the week. This also ensures that we have some uninterrupted time to devote to the needs of our clients.

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Unused Diabetic Supplies – Do You Know What To Do With Them? February, 2016 Newsletter

Chronicles of a Professional Guardian

 

Serving as Advocates, Care Managers, Elderly & Disabled Life Care Plan Assessors, and providing Professional Guardian services in Central Florida for over 20 years, we have discovered unique solutions to many difficult problems.

 

We are continuing our tradition of giving back by sharing our knowledge in the hopes that this information can help others to better serve and care for our elderly and disabled population.


Unused Diabetic Supplies – Do You Know What To Do With Them?

 

Sharps Sriram Bala Flickr

Image Source: Sriram Bala / Flickr.com

For diabetics, it is important to practice safe disposal of supplies, including syringes, lancets, auto injectors, infusion sets, and ports. Because these items come in contact with blood, you can’t just throw them away in the garbage along with everything else. So how should you dispose of these items properly?

 

When it comes to diabetic supplies, there are a few things you’ll want to consider. First, never use a syringe more than once. This prevents cross contamination, which could skew testing results, and the reduced possibility of infection.

 

Syringes and other sharp items should be disposed of in a “sharps” container. You’ll want to make sure that your sharps container is properly sealed. But most importantly, never place your sharps container in your household waste.

 

Depending on which county you live in, you can often drop off used syringes and sharps containers at your local health department or fire station. Additionally, these locations may be able to supply you with a replacement sharps container. Every county is different, however, so you should look up your county online for specific rules and regulations.
Here are some resources for Central Florida:

 

Seminole County has a few locations which may take your diabetic supplies. For more information about which location will accept what, visit http://seminole.floridahealth.gov/locations/.

 

Orange County has a few regulations about diabetic supplies, including:

  • Do not bring sharps to the disposal site in anything other than approved sharps contains provided by the site.
  • The disposal site has the right to refuse any improperly packaged containers in order to protect the safety of their employees.
  • When disposing of your filled sharps containers, always give the container to authorized personal.
  • Never leave the container unattended.

For more information about Orange County’s regulations, visit http://orange.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/environmental-health/biomedical-waste/_documents/sharps-facilities.pdf.

 

Please practice safe disposal of diabetic supplies so that they don’t wind up in the wrong hands.

 


Tip of the Month:

 

You can apply online through the Florida Public Commission Website for the Lifeline Telephone discount program if you qualify for Medicaid / Food Stamps.

 


Did You Know?

 

That Guardian Care’s Geriatric Scene Investigation (GSI) was featured in the Department of Elder Affairs Newsletter for January / February 2016? Our blurb can be found on page 22 of the newsletter.

 


Blog Posts:

Here are some of our recent blog posts, in case you missed any.

You can check out or blog at blog.orlandoguardian.com, or follow us online on Facebook or LinkedIn and never miss an article again.


Community Events

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Potential Changes in VA Benefits Due to VA Look Back Period – January, 2016 Newsletter

Chronicles of a Professional Guardian

 

Serving as Care Managers, Elderly & Disabled Life Care Plan Assessors, and providing Professional Guardian services in Central Florida for over 20 years, we have discovered unique solutions to many difficult problems.

 

We are continuing our tradition of giving back by sharing our knowledge in the hopes that this information can help others to better serve and care for our elderly and disabled population.


Potential Changes in VA Benefits Due to VA Look Back Period

 

OrlandoGuardian.com Changes to VA Benefits With Look Back Period

Image Credit: DonkeyHotey

There could be a HUGE potential change to VA benefits, anticipated in the first quarter of 2016, that change the way benefits are processed with the inclusion of a 3 year look back period.

 

Many people don’t know that VA benefits, along with Aid & Attendance, is a need-based program, and eligibility is determined based upon the veteran’s military service, and their medical and financial needs. However, last year, in January, 2015, the VA proposed changes to the rules governing eligibility requirements.

 

While there were a few changes, one significant change is that there could be a 36 month (or 3 year) look back period, similar to the Medicaid look back period. Veterans who transferred or disposed of assets to qualify for VA benefits during the look back period could be penalized for up to 10 years.

 

The transfer of a covered asset “would mean an asset that was part of the net worth, and was transferred for less than fair market value. Transfer of a smaller covered asset amount would incur a shorter penalty period.”

 

Additionally, if you make a transfer during the look back period, you will need to have clear and convincing evidence that the transferring of the asset was “not for the purpose of reducing net worth to establish entitlement pension.”

 

There are some concerns surrounding the addition of a VA look back period. For example, if a penalty period is imposed, what will be the time frame for resolving any issues?

 

Currently the VA says they will only “recalculate the penalty period if A) they made a mistake, or if B) “all the covered assets were returned to the claimant before the date of claim, or within 30 days after the date of claim.”

 

However, this too raises concerns, because how is the veteran to know they need to have assets returned if a notice isn’t issued by the VA during the month the after the claim is filed?  [Source: AgingCare.com]

 

When it comes to the VA look back period, there will probably be a lot of questions that arise because of this change, and a few bumps in the road when it is finally implemented. However, it is important to note that as of now, these changes have yet to take effect. It is anticipated that they will be put in place within the first quarter of 2016.

 

For a current list of rules governing the Department of Veteran’s Affairs falls under US CFR 38, section 3.

 


Tip of the Month:

 

As a reminder, the Medicare Part B premium is also changing in 2016. The new premium has been adjusted from $104.90 to $121.80, an increase of $16.90. For more information about the increase, and how Medicare Premiums are calculated, visit Medicare.gov.

 


Blog Posts:

 

Here are some of our recent blog posts, in case you missed any.

You can check out or blog at blog.orlandoguardian.com, or follow us online on Facebook or LinkedIn and never miss an article again.


Community Events

Click on the event for additional information.

What’s in a Word? The Importance of Words With Court Documentation and Billing

 

OrlandoGuardian.com What's in a word? The Importance of Words with  Court Documentation & Billing

Image Credit: Uwe Paulat

In our documentation, especially with items that go to the courts, using the “right” word or description can make it easier for the reader to understand or visualize what we are describing. Using the “right” word, can prevent a lot of misunderstandings from the beginning, eliminating headaches for the Court Clerk or whoever else has to review the documentation, and for us,  on the other end when we have to explain what we were  writing about.

 

For example, if you were to read the word “collection” in regards to personal property in a client’s home, what image comes to mind? An amazing toy collection of Star Wars memorabilia? A cabinet full of Depression glass? Or maybe an interior weapons-safe with antique guns?

 

However, what if the “collection,” was actually a large quantity of old, used Tupperware, with missing lids? Or a “collection” of empty cardboard boxes the client was hoarding? Maybe these would be better described as an “accumulation.”

 

It can also get difficult when we’re trying to describe working on a multi-phase project. We have to consider words that make it clear to the reader that it’s a start-and-stop kind of a thing, and why. Words like initial, on-going, partial, or first are often helpful for these types of situations.

 

Similarly, when having to make/take multiple calls about a subject, it might be helpful to use words like endeavor, pursuit, request, or strive.

 

There are also words we try to stay away from, like never, always, all, must, has none, completely, final, total, or forever, because in the world of human care, these types of words are often inaccurate.  Alternatives for such words include mostly, often, may not, regularly, not likely, some, historically, almost, as of yet, common, might, or may.

 

For example, when I read the words, “the ward has no family,” I always wonder why this person isn’t famous for being an alien invader, since they have no family and somehow materialized out of thin air. This is a nearly impossible statement to be made. Their majority of family might be deceased, but they came from someone to begin with.

 

When you’re doing court billing or other types of documentation, what do you do? Are there words you routinely use, or words that you avoid? Leave me a comment and let me know how you prefer to word your descriptions.