Aging provides a variety of unique challenges, especially as more and more of our population crests 65 years of age. Changes in housing, health care needs, spheres of influence, and […]
Long-Term Care Options
Home care is a great option when a loved one is living with a chronic illness or condition inhibiting their ability to independently perform all of their activities of daily living. Home care means one-to-one care services and is also referred to as companion care, non-medical care, and supportive care. It ranges from one-hour to 24-hour care. Hourly rates range from $26-$43. Private pay, private long-term care policies, or VA Aid and Attendance Pension benefit may be a source of payment. Medicare does NOT pay for this type of care.
Independent Living Communities
These living arrangements are campus-like and boast a luxurious, resort-style, low-maintenance lifestyle targeted to boomers and seniors who are in the early years of retirement and still very active and independent. One of the biggest advantages of the independent living option is that it allows seniors to make new friends and stay social. Mostly private pay, although some government funding may be available through HUD’s Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program.
Adult Family Homes
These have been an increasingly popular option for adults who are relatively independent to those who require 24-hour supervision or care. In this level of care, residents receive minimal to full care services in a home-like setting with up to 3 other adults. Generally small and often set up in private homes, adult family home providers are individuals or families with children who live together with their resident clients as a family unit. Private pay, Medicaid (in some situations), or private long-term care policies may be a source of payment.
Assisted Living Facilities
Assisted living facilities are special facilities that span the gap between independent living and nursing homes. These facilities may be temporary or long-term housing. They are especially designed to help seniors who are mostly independent but need help with some of the activities of daily living. Most facilities include a safety alert system that can alert the care staff of an emergency such as a fall. Such a system can minimize the damage from a fall, stroke and other health event because help is only minutes away. Monthly rates range from $3,000-$10,000. Mostly private pay, some take Medicaid.
Community Based Residential Facilities
A CBRF is a smaller version (5-20 individuals) of an assisted living community which provides room and board, supervision, and help for people who have trouble living by themselves. A CBRF is a type of assisted living that is a step between living at home and living in a nursing home. Five or more unrelated adults live in a CBRF. Care, treatment, and service options as well as room and board are given to all residents. Monthly rates range from $3,000-$10,000. Private pay, private long-term care policies, possible funding through County Human Services or Social Services Department, nursing care may be covered by Medicare. Midwest Family Care owns a 10-bed CBRF in Cambridge, WI. Head over to the Autumn Winds website to find out more.
Skilled Nursing Facilities
Provide around-the-clock skilled nursing care for the frail elderly who require a high level of medical care and assistance. Long-term care residents generally have high care needs and complex medical conditions that require routine skilled nursing services. Residents typically share a room and are served meals in a central dining area unless they are too ill to participate. Activities are also available. Some facilities have a separate unit for Alzheimer’s residents. Private-pay, Medicare, and Medicaid.
Palliative care teams are made up of doctors, nurses, and other professional medical caregivers, often at the facility where a patient will first receive treatment. These individuals will administer or oversee most of the ongoing comfort-care patients receive. While palliative care can be administered in the home, it is most common to receive palliative care in an institution such as a hospital, extended care facility, or nursing home that is associated with a palliative care team. There are no time restrictions. Palliative care can be received by patients at any time, at any stage of illness whether it be terminal or not. Since this service will generally be administered through your hospital or regular medical provider, it is likely that it is covered by your regular medical insurance. (Source)
Hospice programs far outnumber palliative care programs. Generally, once enrolled through a referral from the primary care physician, a patient’s hospice care program, which is overseen by a team of hospice professionals, is administered in the home. Hospice often relies upon the family caregiver, as well as a visiting hospice nurse. While hospice can provide round-the-clock care in a nursing home, a specially equipped hospice facility, or, on occasion, in a hospital, this is not the norm. You must generally be considered to be terminal or within six months of death to be eligible for most hospice programs or to receive hospice benefits from your insurance. Many hospice programs are covered under Medicare. (Source)
How can I pay for long-term care?
Medicare: Under certain limited conditions, Medicare will pay some nursing home costs for Medicare beneficiaries who require skilled nursing or rehabilitation services. To be covered, you must receive the services from a Medicare certified skilled nursing home after a qualifying hospital stay. A qualifying hospital (at least three days) stay is the amount of time spent in a hospital just prior to entering a nursing home.
Medicaid: Medicaid is a state and federal program that will pay most nursing home costs for people with limited income and assets. Eligibility varies by State. Check your state’s requirements to learn if you are eligible. Medicaid will pay only for nursing home care provided in a facility certified by the government to provide service to Medicaid recipients.
V.A. Aid and Attendance: Aid and Attendance is a benefit paid by Veterans Affairs to veterans, veterans’ spouses, or surviving spouses. It is paid in addition to a veteran’s basic pension. The benefit may not be paid without eligibility to a VA basic pension. Aid and Attendance is for applicants who need financial help for in–home care, to pay for an assisted living facility or a nursing home. Applicants must meet specific criteria.
Home Care & Assisted Living:
Long Term Care Insurance: Long term care insurance often covers home care services and assisted living communities; most policies have specific criteria for eligibility. Consult a representative of your insurance carrier for a detailed explanation of services covered.
Private Pay: When and individual or family finance the cost of care on their own, without assistance from government programs. These individuals pay for their care through personal funds or a long-term care insurance policy.