Archive for August 2017

Hospice Care for Stroke Patients

Posted on Sep 28, 2017

Strokes are one of the most common serious medical events for adults in America to experience. In fact, when it comes to American adults, strokes are the leading cause of disability and the 5th leading cause of death.  

When a stroke strikes, the blood supply that normally goes to the brain is cut off and the brain cells that control normal functions are denied the oxygen they need. This can lead to memory and muscle control issues after the stroke.

The complications of a stroke can vary greatly depending on the individual’s past medical history and the severity of the stroke. Some can fully recover from a stroke with just a few visits to the doctor’s office, but some aren’t so lucky. In some cases, a stroke can require hospice care when the patient exhibits the following symptoms.

  • Continuing weight loss
  • Needing help with routine activities
  • Inability to sustain a healthy caloric intake
  • Becoming chair or bed bound
  • Diminished functional abilities

A stroke can cause a huge lifestyle shift for the patient and their primary caregivers. Thankfully, hospice care will provide comprehensive care for stroke patients at no cost to the patient. This includes available 24/7 care from a carefully staffed medical team and the cost of medical supplies like prescription medications and hospital beds.

At Cura-HPC, our staff has extensive experience helping stroke patients and their families. This can be a very trying time with sudden and dramatic changes, but we are ready to guide your family with top-quality medical care and bereavement support. If you have questions about qualifying for hospice care, give Cura-HPC a call. 

What is Continuous Hospice Care?

Posted on Sep 21, 2017

Hospice care is a Medicare benefit that can be provided at four different levels: routine care, continuous care, inpatient care, and respite care. Each of these levels was created to address a different level of need of medical attention.

Continuous care, as you might have guessed by the name, provides 24/7 care for patients. This level of care allows patients to remain in their home as their disease progresses while still meeting their medical needs. With a member of the medical team present at all times, symptoms can be managed better and the patient can experience a better quality of life.

This level of care is available to any hospice patient, if they meet the qualifications. According to Medicare,

“Continuous home care may only be provided during a period of crisis as necessary to maintain an individual at home. A period of crisis is a period in which a patient requires continuous care that is predominantly nursing care to achieve palliation or management of acute medical symptoms.”

A patient can receive continuous care in their home or in a long-term care facility. However, continuous care can not be provided at a hospital or skilled nursing facility.

No matter what level of care you or your loved one needs, Cura-HPC is here to help. We’ve been helping families through the difficulties end-of-life care can present for many years. Our staff is knowledgeable, experienced, and compassionate. If you or your loved one is in need of hospice care, call Cura-HPC and one of our transition specialists will be more than happy to assist you.  

Estate Planning Apps

Posted on Sep 14, 2017

One of the best parts of living in this day and age is that there’s an app for almost everything, including estate planning. These apps can’t replace the expertise of an estate planning lawyer, but they can help you organize your thoughts and make things a little more convenient for your surviving relatives.


This app creates one convenient and secure place to store necessary documents for end-of-life planning. Passwords, wills, funeral preferences, and other important documents can all be easily found by your loved ones after you pass away. Everplans also uses a few simple questions to help you create a checklist of all the necessary documents you need for a robust estate plan.


Similar to filling out an online dating profile, Cake uses a series of simple questions pertaining to post-mortem preferences and you can either swipe left to answer no, or swipe right for yes. Once you’ve completed the questionnaire, Cake will help you create an estate plan that reflects your answers.


This app has less to do with the legal side of estate planning, and more to do with the emotional side. With SafeBeyond, you can create written or video messages for your surviving family members that will be automatically delivered at certain dates, events, or locations. For example, a father who knows he will die before his daughter’s wedding can record a video message that she can watch on her wedding day. SafeBeyond can also deliver a final message on social media so you can say goodbye to all your friends.

Again, you’ll need to consult a lawyer to have a strong and thorough estate plan. These apps should only be used as a starting point to get the ball rolling. Although no one likes to think about estate planning, it is vitally important to ensure your final wishes are met and your assets will be bequeathed properly. 

Dealing with a Loss at Work

Posted on Aug 15, 2017

After a loved one passes away, one of the first things most people will do is send an email to their manager and/or HR director informing them of the situation and requesting bereavement PTO. This will inevitably lead to a few of your coworker learning of your loss, or at least that you had a “family emergency.” Knowing that some or all of your coworkers are aware of the situation can make returning to work difficult.

Going back to work generally presents one of two problems: wanting to return to regular routine and not being able to focus on work.

Those who fall into the first category will struggle to answer questions like, “how are you doing?” Having to discuss the loss again and again with separate coworkers and constantly hear, “I’m sorry for your loss” can grow tiresome. All you want to do is return to the daily grind like nothing ever happened, but everyone keeps bringing it up.

The issue this group of people needs to be on the lookout for is suppressing and bottling up emotions. Getting back to normal routines can be helpful, but it’s also really easy to ignore what you’re feeling and not truly process the emotions.

The second group of people may not want to be a work at all. To them, the thought of having to be away from home and family is incredibly unpleasant. Doing work-related tasks and having to put on a happy face for coworkers and clients is the last thing they want to do. No matter how much they might want to move on, thoughts of their loved one are still on their mind.

Dealing with lack of focus after a loss is expected for a certain period of time. However, if the problem continues to persist, it might be time to consider professional help. Experiencing a loss incredibly hard, and there’s no shame in talking with a grief consoler or psychiatrist. 

Family Caregiver Tax Deductions

Posted on Aug 15, 2017

Being a caregiver for an ailing family member can take a heavy emotional toll and a heavy financial toll on the family budget. There’s the cost of medications, doctor’s appointments, and various medical equipment to consider. While most of these costs will be covered if the patient is enrolled in hospice care, these costs can be hard to cover out of pocket.

Thankfully, the IRS does allow some of these costs to be counted as tax deductible. These deductions won’t totally recoup the cost of caregiving, but they can help balance the budget a bit.

Defining Medical Expenses

According to the IRS, a medical expense is defined as, “the costs of diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, and the costs for treatments affecting any part or function of the body.”

Caregivers can write off the cost of medical expenses made on behalf of qualifying relatives. This includes payments made for doctors, surgeries, medical supplies and equipment, and a few other related expenses.

Qualifying Relative

As mentioned above, in order for these payments to qualify as tax deductible they must be in regard to a qualifying relative. The IRS defines a qualifying relative as, someone who the caregiver provides over half of the support for in a year and claimed a total income of less than $4,050 on last year’s tax return. Dependents can also count as qualifying relatives in most cases.

It’s important to note that the qualifications of a medical expense and a qualifying relative are both subject to change as the IRS sees fit. So, before you claim a caregiver tax deduction, make sure you’re doing so based on the current IRS standards. For full definitions and regulations, go to

There are also limits to the amount of deductions you can claim in each year. Tax deductions are limited to the amount of total medical expenses that surpass 10 percent of adjusted gross income if the taxpayer is 64 or younger, or 7.5 percent if the taxpayer or spouse is 65 or older.