Sagepoint Creates New Page to Consolidate COVID-19 Updates

Sagepoint Creates New Page to Consolidate COVID-19 Updates

 

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread throughout the United States, Sagepoint is monitoring the situation closely, and our response is evolving as new information becomes available.

Understandably, our patients and family members have questions about what it means for them and the steps Sagepoint is taking to protect all those we care for and all those who provide that care. So we’ve created a dedicated page on our website where any updates and information are posted as soon as possible.

Please go to our COVID-19 Updates page –– linked below –– for the most up-to-date information. We encourage you to bookmark the page so you can easily access it in the days ahead.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate this ever-changing situation.

See COVID-19 Updates

Sagepoint Honored By Local and National Publications

Sagepoint Honors & Awards 

When you put your heart and soul into the work you do every day, it feels good when others take notice.

We’re thrilled to share that the team at Sagepoint Senior Living recently received three prestigious honors for the work that we do and the caring environment that we provide for seniors in our community. It’s even more rewarding to know that the recognition is the result of both high-performance in measurable results and the recommendations of those who have seen firsthand the difference we make.

Maryland Independent “Reader Approved”

Readers of Charles County’s trusted local newspaper recently voted Sagepoint as the county’s best in three distinct categories: Best Assisted Living Facility, Best Nursing Home and Best Retirement Community.

We are so grateful for this honor because it comes from the people who have direct experience with Sagepoint –– our patients, their families and their friends.

U.S. News & World Report “Best Nursing Homes”

The nationally read and respected U.S. News & World Report included Sagepoint in its list of the nation’s “Best Nursing Homes.” The publication’s rankings were the result of a thorough process that rated our facilities and staff –– both short-term and long-term care –– across a variety of categories.

The categories included staffing, levels of therapy, patient outcomes, patient feedback and more. Visit our featured page on the U.S. News & World Report website for a deeper look into the assessment and the care we provide.

Newsweek’s “Best Nursing Homes 2020”

Newsweek, another award-winning national publication, named Sagepoint one of the nation’s best nursing homes for 2020.

More than 15,000 nursing homes nationwide were evaluated, and only 400 received this prestigious honor. Of the 26 Maryland nursing homes that made the list, Sagepoint ranked in the Top 5.

Newsweek’s staff rated the nursing homes in partnership with global data research firm Statista, Inc. Together, they adopted a rigorous methodology that drew on key performance indicators such as health inspections, staffing and quality measures. They also incorporated recommendations from medical experts, including physicians, nurses, therapists and administrators.

Our greatest reward is always in the difference our team can make in the lives of seniors and their loved ones, but we are proud to see that impact reflected in the assessments of these publications. We are thankful that so many local families trust us with the care of their loved ones, and we will continue to honor that trust by doing all that we can to provide the highest levels of care.

Dementia Demonstration for Leadership Southern Maryland

Dementia Demonstration for Leadership Southern Maryland

Members of the 2020 class of Leadership Southern Maryland recently participated in a dementia demonstration presented by the team at Sagepoint Senior Living.

LSM’s Executive Leadership Program is a nine-week course aimed at developing a diverse network of community leaders in Southern Maryland.

“The dementia demonstration was part of the program’s Healthcare Day,” said Sagepoint President and CEO Andrea Dwyer. “It provided these local leaders with a glimpse into the struggles that dementia patients face each day, as well as the challenges that our healthcare community works to overcome.”

Demonstrating the Difficulties of Dementia

Nurse Educator Lee Giannini led the activity which guided the participants through a series of exercises designed to simulate the struggles people with dementia experience with sensory, sensitivity, coordination and cognitive deficits.

Following the discussion, our clinical leadership team, including Dwyer, Michele Buscher, our Chief Nursing Officer (Long-Term Care and Rehabilitation) and Denise McCann, our Chief Nursing Officer (Assisted Living, Memory Care and Adult Day Services). The panel answered questions and presented information to help caregivers and families who have a loved one with a dementia-related illness.

 

Board Spotlight: Dana Levy Brings Experience and Expertise

 

Board Member Dana Levy

It takes the efforts and support of an entire community to empower Sagepoint Senior Living to provide the level of care that our patients and their families deserve. Our success can be attributed in no small part to our volunteer Board of Directors, made up of talented, compassionate and generous leaders throughout Southern Maryland.

Board member Dana Levy is a shining example of the impact that such people can have on the work that we do each day. Levy is the chairwoman of our Quality Assurance Performance Development and Compliance Committee, which ensures that we are doing all we can to provide the highest levels of care.

Decades of Nursing Experience

She brings exceptional credentials and years of experience to the role. In her full-time job, Levy is Vice President of Nursing Services and Chief Nursing Officer at University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center in La Plata. She’s been a registered nurse for more than 25 years and brings more than 15 years of experience in nursing leadership roles.

Though Levy has been a fixture in Southern Maryland since 2013, her nursing career has taken her to seven states and 16 medical facilities. She holds a master’s degree in nursing from the University of Phoenix, Arizona campus, and a bachelor’s in nursing from the University of Toledo. She’s also a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, the American Organization for Nurse Executives, and the American Nurses Association.

We are so grateful that she has chosen to share her time and talents with the team at Sagepoint.

Memory Care

Memory Care Makes a Difference

Memory Care 

It’s the most frustrating thing in the world when suddenly everything from the most impactful moments of your life to cherished memories with loved ones seems to disappear overnight. Nothing is sacred when it comes to memory loss, a devastating reality that many will struggle to come to terms with. When dealing with dementia, it’s incredibly important to arm yourself with the information needed to navigate the unknown. Because with the right tools, you can help your loved ones live a fulfilling life after their dementia diagnosis.

What Is Dementia? 

Dementia is the deterioration of memory in ways that affect thinking and behavior within everyday life. The result is a loss in capacity that exceeds what can be accounted for through normal aging. And for so many elderly individuals, this is the main factor that increases their dependency on others. One of the most common forms of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, however, there are many other known types that present in various ways.

Who Is Affected?

Nearly 10 million new cases each year contribute to this world-wide epidemic with nearly 50 million individuals affected in total, according to the World Health Organization. Plus — since age is the strongest known risk factor of dementia — as the population continues to grow, a rise in dementia cases can also be expected in the coming years. Because of its broad impact on so many facets of daily life, dementia will not only bring new and overwhelming changes for the individual but will also deeply affect family members and others in their social circle.

How Is Dementia Treated?

While there is no known treatment to cure dementia at this time, there are a number of ways to improve the lives of those affected by dementia. One of the best things you can do is diagnose dementia early, from there it will be easier to discern exactly what impact it’s having on the individual and what type of care would be best for their particular symptoms to optimize their well-being.

Memory Care Solutions

At Sagepoint, there are a variety of Memory Care options available at our facility. Our highly trained staff is always on hand, providing top-notch supervision and compassionate care. Each day activities and trips are provided to keep our residents active and engaged. The Opening Minds Through Art activities are a perfect example of how we tap into the creative pathways that are still active so that our residents can create something that they’re proud of.

Along with doing all we can to care for our residents with dementia, we’re also focused on educating our wider community about this widespread syndrome. Earlier this winter we had the opportunity to work with our community leaders during Leadership Southern Maryland’s Healthcare Day. There, we led a demonstration that provided a glimpse into the struggles that dementia patients face each day, as well as the challenges that our healthcare community works to overcome. 

 

Meet the People Whose Lives Are Made Better By Your Generosity

 

We know that there are many worthy causes out there.

 

We also know that you can’t give to support them all.

 

But we would be honored and grateful if you would consider a tax-deductible, year-end gift to support Sagepoint.

 

Watch the videos below to hear from our patients and their families. And to get a glimpse of the difference your donation can make right here in Charles County.

 

 

These are the people you’re supporting. These are the lives you’re changing.

It feels so good to give, and it only takes a few moments and a few clicks.

 

Thank you from the bottom of our grateful hearts.

Our Seniors Deserve the Best Care. So We Need Your Support.

 

Most of us at some point in our lives have encountered this situation with someone we know, most likely someone we love. They get older, and they just can’t do the things they once did. And that means they can’t live the way they once lived.

 

What would you give to know that someone you loved wasn’t suffering? To know that they were cared for and had access to innovative technology and expert medical support?

 

That’s the care that Sagepoint Senior Living Services provides each day. But it isn’t easy.

 

To continue to provide the highest levels of care, we rely on the generosity of donors within our community. In fact, we’ve just launched our end-of-year giving campaign. We’re calling it Grateful Hearts, because we would be so grateful to have your support.

 

It takes just minutes to visit our Giving page and make a tax-deductible, year-end gift to Sagepoint. You can even set up recurring payments to keep sending your support and your love all year.

 

Why is this so important?

 

The number of Americans ages 65 and older is greater than it has ever been. In Charles County alone, the number of residents ages 80 to 84 is expected to double in the next five years. The amount of care these men and women need — and will need — is significant.

 

Sagepoint relies in large part on funding from government programs. Funding for these programs is shrinking, and we desperately need to make up the difference and then some.

 

Every day, we provide a full spectrum of services for our patients, including Adult Day Services, Rehabilitation, Assisted Living, Long-Term Care, Memory Care and Home Care.

 

Last year’s giving campaign helped fund our music therapy program for residents with dementia patients, upgrade technology infrastructure and purchase new equipment to enhance resident’s comfort and staff safety. It was a great start, but there’s so much more we can do for our seniors.

 

Will you help us ensure that the care we provide remains second to none?

 

Tax-Free Charitable Giving From An IRA

Seniors age 70 ½ or older can make tax-free charitable donation from IRAs that count toward satisfying required minimum distribution and reduce taxable income.

What is a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD)?

A QCD is a tax-free charitable distribution of funds directly from the IRA trustee (custodian) of an eligible IRA account payable to a qualified charitable organization that can receive a tax-deductible contribution. A tax-free QCD is defined in IRS Publication 17 – Your Federal Income Tax for Individuals on page 126.

Normal distribution from an IRA of deductible contributions and earning is included in income and taxed as ordinary income. The tax-free QCD removes the distribution from taxable income. QCDs are recorded on Form 1040, U.S. Individual Tax Return 2018 – the sum total QCD distribution is included on line 4 a – IRA distribution, and the abbreviation ‘QCD’ is written on line 4 b – taxable amount.

Who is Eligible to Make a tax-free QCD?

IRA account owners and beneficiaries age 70 ½ or older on the date the tax-free QCD is made to one or more qualified charitable organizations.
Taxpayers who now claim the standard deduction can still make tax-free QCDs.

What type of IRA accounts are eligible for a QCD?

Traditional IRA, Rollover IRA, Inherited IRA accounts and non-active SEP and Simple IRA accounts are eligible for a tax free QCD. Active SEP or Simple IRA account currently receiving employee or employer contributions is not eligible.

Roth IRA accounts are eligible but a tax-free QCD will not lower income tax because distributions from Roth IRAs are already tax-free and not included in income.

What type of retirement savings accounts are ineligible for a QCD?

Employer-sponsored retirement plans, such as 401(k)s, 403(b)s and 457(b)s are not eligible for tax-free QCD. A normal or tax-free QCD distribution to satisfy the IRA RMD requirement in a given tax year cannot count toward satisfying the RMD requirement for employer-sponsored requirement plans.

However, an employer-sponsored plan account owner may consider a direct transfer rollover to an IRA Rollover account that would then be eligible for tax-free QCDs. RMD calculations for tax-deferred IRAs and employer-sponsored retirement plans for the current tax year will be based upon the fair market value of the account at the close of business on December 31 of the prior year, factored by your age and life expectancy. Therefore, before implementing a rollover strategy the time and suitability should be taken into consideration.

What is the tax-free QCD distribution limit?

Seniors age 70 ½ or older may make tax-free charitable donations and exclude up to $100,000 from gross income per tax year by making tax-free QCD’s directly from an IRA. There is no carry-over from year to year. Your spouse may also make a tax-free charitable donation and exclude up to $100,000 from gross income per tax year for a combined total of $200,000.

Does a tax-free QCD distribution count towards Requirement Minimum Distribution (RMD)?

Yes. A tax-free QCD may be an appropriate strategy for individuals who are charitable inclined and do not need RMDs for living expenses. A tax-free QCD can potentially reduce income tax liability on RMDs to zero. A tax-free QCD can be counted toward satisfying your RMD requirements for IRA accounts.

Here is an example of a normal IRA distribution of $5,000 at ordinary income tax rates:
22% 24% 32% 35% 37%

22% 24% 32% 35% 37%
IRA Distribution $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000
Income tax 1,100 1,200 1,600 1,750 1,850
Net Distribution 3,900 3,800 3,400 3,250 3,150

 

Assume you are in the 24 percent income tax bracket – you make a tax-free QCD of $5,000 to count towards satisfying your RMD requirement, provide an income tax break of $1,200, lower taxable income, and help fulfil your philanthropic goals.

The annual RMD must be calculated by you or your custodian for each IRA account, but the sum RMD may be aggregated and distributed from one or more IRA accounts. Note – RMD for employer sponsored retirement accounts cannot be aggregated and distributed from IRAs.

The first distributions from an IRA are consider to satisfy the annual IRA RMD requirement. If you have already taken a portion of your RMD requirement earlier this year, you may consider a tax-free QCD for the remaining balance of the RMD requirement that needs to be distributed before the year-end deadline. The only exception to the year-end RMD requirement deadline is in the first year an IRA account owner turns age 70 ½.

What charities qualify to receive a tax-free QCD?

As defined by IRS Publication 590-B Distributions from Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs,) a charity eligible to receive a QCD is a “qualified 501(c)(3) organization (a charitable organization eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions.)” Donor advised funds and private foundations are not eligible to receive tax-free QCDs. Upon request a charity can provide you their IRS issued ‘Letter of Determination’ verifying tax-exempt status. Additionally, please find information about a tax-exempt organization’s federal tax filing status on the IRS web site at www.irs.gov.

How to set up direct payment to the charitable organization?

To make a tax-free QCD, there must be direct payment by the IRA trustee (custodian) on behalf of the IRA account owner to the charitable organization. You may call your IRA trustee (custodian) and request a check made payable to a charitable organization and delivered to you so that you may forward to the charity. (IRS Notice 2007-7, Q&A-41). Consider including a ‘Letter of Intent’ with the check to describe your wishes and purpose of the charitable gift. Check with you IRA trustee (custodian) for year-end processing deadlines for issuing checks. As normal, you will need to keep records to include written acknowledge from the charitable organization for your tax-exempt charitable donation.

What are key benefits of lowering taxable income, Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) for seniors?

A tax-free QCD can count towards satisfying your RMD requirement but does not add to your taxable income, AGI. You may benefit from lowering your taxable income to lower Medicare Part B premium and prescription drug premium for high income earners, lower taxable percentage of Social Security benefits, and larger deductions for medical expenses; among other benefits.

Medicare Premium for High Income Beneficiaries – Potential lower AGI to qualify for lower income threshold to lower income related monthly adjustment amounts for Medicare Part B and Prescription Drugs premiums. For more information, please view Social Security Administration publication – Medicare Premiums: Rules for Higher-Income Beneficiaries.

Itemized Deduction for Medical Expense – Potential lower AGI to reduce threshold for claiming unreimbursed medical and dental expenses you paid. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) lowered the AGI threshold for medical expenses from 10 percent to 7.5 percent for 2017 and 2018 for all taxpayers and reverts back to 10 percent in 2019.

Percentage of Social Security Benefits to be Taxed – Potential lower ‘combined income’ to qualify for a lesser portion of your Social Security benefits to be taxed. For more information, please visit Social Security Administration web page – Benefits Planner | Income Taxes and Your Social Security Benefits.

Summary

Tax-free QCDs may be an effective strategy to fulfill your philanthropic goals and make a lasting charitable impact in your community. Before implementing any strategy, please consult your professional tax accountant, estate planning attorney and/or investment adviser.

The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. Any investments and strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. While every attempt is made to provide accurate information, we cannot guarantee the accuracy and completeness of this content. Christine does not provide legal or tax advice.

Written by Christine Parker, CPF®, president of Parker Financial, LLC and member of Sagepoint Senior Services Foundation Board of Officers and Directors.

A Brief Guide to Medicare and Understanding Your Options

By Sharon Wagner, SeniorFriendly.info




Medicare is a blessing to many seniors, but navigating all of your options and deciding on a plan can be extremely overwhelming. How are you supposed to know which plan you need, which insurance companies to trust, and how to enroll? There are many things to consider when choosing your plan and nearly endless options when you look beyond the basic federal program. Hopefully, this guide can clear up a few things and point you in the right direction.

Finding Plans in Your Area

To start, it’s important to know what kinds of Medicare plans are available in your area. The government website Medicare.gov provides a handy search tool for finding Medicare Part C and Part D plans. This can help you narrow down your choices based on certain criteria, such as whether you need drug coverage and which pharmacies you would like included in your plan. Take a look at this useful step-by-step guide for help using the search tool.

Learning About Basic Medicare

Original Medicare, also called Medicare Part A and B, is the most basic coverage provided by the government for seniors 65 and older. Original Medicare covers things like hospital stays and outpatient doctor’s services. Most people will not have to pay anything for Part A, but everyone must pay a monthly premium for Part B. It’s also important to understand that Original Medicare will not pay for 100 percent of the services it covers; you will still have out-of-pocket costs from deductibles and copayments. This is why many people supplement their Medicare plans.

Understanding Medicare Advantage

Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurance companies and are similar to health insurance plans you may have signed up for in the past. In addition to everything covered by Medicare Parts A and B, Medicare Advantage plans offer additional coverage for things like hearing, vision, and dental. These plans may also include daily living assistance and lifestyle support, such as transportation or meal delivery services. US News explains the pros and cons of Medicare Advantage based on different criteria you may have.

You’ll notice that many Medicare Advantage plans have no premiums. These can be a good option for people who are healthy and looking to save money while still being protected from large medical expenses. These zero-premium plans typically have high deductibles, meaning you’ll have to pay more for your services before your plan will cover the rest. Choosing a plan with a higher premium may be a better option if you have a chronic condition or some other reason to require regular medical care.

Medicare Part D for Drug Coverage

Medicare Part D, which is also offered by private insurance companies, covers prescription drugs. You can add Part D to your Original Medicare plan. However, the majority of Medicare Advantage plans include Part D. According to Investopedia, the costs associated with Medicare Part D are fairly similar to the premiums, deductibles, and copayments of any standard medical insurance plan. Before picking a plan, it’s important to consider the particular drugs you need to be covered since certain plans cover different drugs. Using the Medicare.gov search tool mentioned above can help you find Part D plans that will cover your prescriptions.

Considering Medigap

Finally, Medigap is yet another option for supplementary coverage offered by private insurance companies. Medigap specifically covers the gaps in Original Medicare. This can be beneficial for people who anticipate future chronic conditions and are worried about expensive healthcare needs. There are several Medigap plans to choose from, so think carefully about the kind of coverage you need most. Some plans have coverage for travel emergencies, whereas others are better for covering the deductibles and copayments from your Original Medicare plan.

Getting the most out of Medicare means taking the time to learn about your plans and coverage options. Continue to do your research and check out some of the resources mentioned here. Although it will take some serious planning to evaluate your choices, consider your criteria, and anticipate your future care needs, this will help you secure your health for the future.

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February 19: CNA/GNA/Home Health Aide Job Fair

Home Care Division Seeking CNAs/GNAs/Home Health Aides

Sagepoint Senior Living Services will be holding a job fair on Tuesday, February 19th from 11am-1pm and again from 4pm-6pm at our Prince Frederick location (301 Steeple Chase Drive, Suite 104, Prince Frederick, MD). We are in search of CNA/GNAs and Home Health Aides. Interested candidates should have an updated resume available for review. Interviews will be conducted on site. Registration encouraged- walkins welcome. We hope to see you there.

RSVP: Heather at 410-257-1900

It takes a special person to work for Sagepoint. Our management team and our caregivers care deeply about serving the needs of our seniors, our patients, and their families.

Our goal as an organization is to attract and retain highly qualified staff who share our philosophy.

Sagepoint is an Equal Opportunity Employer that respects and values:

  • Reliability, personal discipline, and accountability from each and every employee.
  • Compassion, a nurturing and respectful attitude.
  • Competency, critical thinking and improvement through professional development.
  • Friendliness and excellent people skills.

Sagepoint employs more than 350 people. We provide our employees with market-competitive wages, excellent benefits, education advancement, and recognition programs.

View our current open positions here.

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