The Increasing Standards of Geriatric Care and Deducting the Cost of a Caregiver

Today’s facility needs to provide increased levels of both comfort and care. Here are six key criteria geriatric patients are using to measure hospitals and long term care residence.

  1. Quality of Care – This will Never change. Geriatric patients demand and expect top-notch care when they are in the hospital, rehap or Senior Living community. The Baby Boomers are demanding better care and doing their research on their condition and will ask questions to ensure they are receiving the best care from highly qualified personnel.
  2. “Privacy” – I Want A Door. HIPPA laws have led to a construction boom as hospital administrators strive to make Waiting Rooms, Treatment Bays, Exam Rooms and other areas of hospitals HIPPA compliant. They do not want to Share a Room!
  3. Room Comfort – Some hospitals are acting like hotels. More space for family to visit their loved one – some are like suites and provide additional luxuries. Requesting Unrestricted visiting hours, and on-site facilities for eating.
  4. Food Quality – Healthy and Tasty Diet. Emotional health is connected to physical health and physical health connected to a healthy diet. Providing healthier foods and diet will make the patient happier and healthier – improve & go home faster.
  5. Personnel with Professional and Caring Personalities. Patients rely heavily on facilities employees. When patients are ill or frightened, they need to feel confident they can depend upon staff to treat them correctly and with respect. Patients demand knowledgeable, efficient, comforting and – above all – pleasant staff.
  6. A Calm and Clean Environment. Every administrator knows that the better a patient feels emotionally, the faster they will heal physically. The atmosphere of the facility is one of the “key” things patients look for when deciding on a healthcare facility. Geriatric patients want tranquil environments that are tastefully decorated, cheerful and clean.

While these are not the only standards used to select healthcare facilities they are some of the Most important considerations. Facilities need to provide their patients in innovative ways, beyond their clinical needs, never forgetting that the quality of care and medical service is the Primary concern.

Can Someone Deduct the Cost of a Caregiver? With tax time upon us this is asked frequently. Our parent has a personal caregiver who works for them full time in their home. The parent(s) pay the cost of approx $4,000 per month out of their own income. Can they deduct the cost as a medical expense on their income tax?

Answer: YES, assuming they are “qualified long term care services.” To satisfy the IRS, one must have to verify primarily by a carefully written letter from her/his personal physician that: (a) she/he is chronically ill (b) the services are provided in accordance with the physician’s plan of care, and © she/he are required care and supervision to protect them from threats to health and safety due, for example: to her/his diminished capacity. A CPA will rely on Section 213 of the IRS Code in determining whether or not their care qualifies.

Note: Physicians do not think about tax deductions when they care for their patients. Its OK to tell them about this opportunity and about the need for an appropriate letter or written plan. Also, these expenses can only be itemized deductions if they exceed 7.5% of the patient(s) adjusted gross income. *Remember to issue 1099s for each of the Caregivers and submit to the IRS at year end. Check with your CPA…..

Brenda Dever-Armstrong, CEO/Owner/CSA/Geriatric Advisor/Lifetime Advocate
The Next Horizon Senior & Military (Veterans/Spouses) Services/Resources/Locator