As much as we prefer not to think about it, the reality is that the longer we live, the greater the odds are that we will need some type of care. The idea of ending up in a nursing home facility probably does not sit well with you. The good news is that there are numerous options for senior care that might help you avoid, or at least put-off, the need for nursing home care. Toward that end, the Essex Junction elder law attorneys at Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC explain various senior care options that might be available to you.
Many communities offer a variety of community-based services that can help with personal care and activities. Some services are free while others may be low-cost or may ask for a voluntary donation. Examples of community-based services that may be available in your community include:
- Adult daycare
- Meal programs (like Meals-on-Wheels)
- Senior centers
- Friendly visitor programs
- Help with shopping and transportation
- Help with legal questions, bill paying, or other financial matters
Help may be available for personal tasks (like laundry, shopping, cooking, and cleaning) at home from family members, friends, or volunteer groups. Medicare will pay for home care under certain conditions. In addition, the Veteran’s Aid and Attendance program may be able to help with home care for veterans and their spouses.
Assisted Living Facilities
These facilities provide help with activities of daily living like bathing, dressing, and using the bathroom. They may also help with care most people do themselves like taking medicine or using eye drops and additional services like getting to appointments or preparing meals. Residents often live in their own room or apartment within a building or group of buildings and have some or all their meals together. Social and recreational activities are usually provided. Some of these facilities have health services on site. In most cases, assisted living residents pay a regular monthly rent, and then pay additional fees for the services they get.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs)
CCRCs are retirement communities that offer more than one kind of housing and different levels of care. In the same community, there may be individual homes or apartments for residents who still live on their own, an assisted living facility for people who need some help with daily care, and a nursing home for those who require more care. Residents move from one level to another based on their needs but usually stay within the CCRC.
Hospice is a special way of caring for people who are terminally ill (with six months or less to live), and for their families. Hospice care includes physical care and counseling. The goal of hospice is to provide comfort for terminally ill patients and their families, not to cure illness. Medical and support services are provided, including nursing care, medical social services, doctor services, counseling, homemaker services, and other types of services. Hospice care may be available in a hospice facility, hospital, or nursing home.
Some nursing homes and hospice care facilities may provide respite care. Respite care is a very short inpatient stay given to a hospice patient so that the usual caregiver can rest. Medicare covers respite care for up to 5 days if you’re getting covered hospice care. Room and board are covered for inpatient respite care and during short-term hospital stays.
Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)
PACE manages all the medical, social, and long-term care services for frail people to remain in their homes and maintain their quality of life. PACE is available only in states that have chosen to offer it under Medicaid. The goal of PACE is to help people stay independent and live in their community as long as possible while getting the high-quality care they need. To be eligible for PACE, you must be 55 or older, live in the service area of a PACE program, be certified as eligible for nursing home care by the appropriate State agency, and be able to live safely in the community.
Home and Community-Based Waiver Programs
If you’re already eligible for Medicaid, (or, in some states, would be eligible for Medicaid coverage in a nursing home) you may be able to get help with the costs of some home and community-based services, like homemaker services, personal care, and respite care.
Contact an Essex Junction Elder Law Attorney
For more information, please attend one of our upcoming FREE webinars. If you have questions or concerns about senior care options, contact an experienced Essex Junction elder law attorney at Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC by calling 802-879-7133 to schedule your appointment today.