How New York Residents Can Choose a Long-Term Care Plan for Loved Ones

In caring for an elderly loved one, it can be challenging to choose whether an outside long-term care option is best, or to offer care from within the home. Often, financial burdens and how much Medicaid will cover becomes a main consideration. Medicaid can cover both nursing homes and home and community-based services. Planning ahead and knowing what factors to weigh when choosing a long-term care plan is vital to reduce the stress on your loved one as they start requiring more assistance.

First, it is important to compare what Medicaid will cover for both home-based care services and institutional services. Medicaid offices, which are state run, set out eligibility for specific benefits. Professional agencies can assist you in understanding your various options.

After narrowing down available options, if it is best for your loved one to enter long-term care at a nursing home facility, there are resources to help you find the best location. To research the quality of life at a nursing home, you can contact the New York State Department of Health. This is the agency which investigates complaints and oversees health and safety standards in nursing homes participating in Medicaid.

Once you have compared the quality of the nursing homes in a given area, it is important to visit them and make sure they meet the care needs you are searching for. Comparing each home’s policy, such as visiting hours, how the staff treats the patients, and types of activities available, are all important in choosing the right facility.

Instead of a nursing home facility, you may choose to care for your loved one at home. This may require modification to the home, such as handicapped bathrooms and ramps. Hiring nurses and therapy aids may also be necessary, unless community adult day care is a better option. Medicare may not cover all of the necessary costs for home health care, so it is important to research all alternatives. Another alternative is to have an assisted living facility care for your loved one. However, Medicaid does cover this type of care.

Understanding the options for long-term care for an elderly loved one can be challenging. Applying for Medicaid and making sure necessary needs are covered can be a complex process. P&P Medicaid provides Medicaid application services. The company also provides a full range of geriatric care management services to help individuals and their families make decisions about and supervise their long-term care needs.  Please contact P&P Medicaid Consulting, Inc. at (516) 541-4770 for more information.

The Financial Burden of Elderly Care on Long Island’s Middle Class

As Long Island’s baby boomers reach retirement age, there is an influx of adults who require long-term care and Social Security benefits. As it stands, two-thirds of Americans age 65 and over will soon fall into this category. This trend was not unexpected, but perhaps unprepared for. With limited funds supplied by Social Security and private or Medicaid insurance, the burden falls to younger family members, who, buried by inflation and the slow-moving economy, are often already struggling to make ends meet.

In the last 10 years, the cost of long-term care has risen dramatically.  According to a report by insurer Genworth Financial, the median bill for an assisted living facility is nearly $50,000 a year and for a semi-private room in a nursing home, it’s now over $100,000 a year. To lend perspective to these figures, the median household earns $52,000 in the U.S.

It’s not easy to see a parent or loved one’s health care needs rise, and even more uncomfortable to face the financial realities associated with that care. Many people turn to Medicaid to relieve some of the cost, but it is oftentimes difficult to secure the coverage necessary to support their aging loved ones. This phenomenon is particularly felt among the middle class, who feel they are left without any viable options.

More and more people rely on home healthcare for more extended periods of time. The option to hire in-home aides, although primarily out of pocket, is promising, since the cost is much lower than it is in institutionalized facilities such as nursing homes. Yet at a rate of $20 per hour (a conservative estimate), the cost of just eight hours a day of home health support tallies to $58,240 a year — an unaffordable price tag for 50 percent of American households. Round-the-clock in-home care at the same rate would come in at $174,720 per year, which only wealthier families could even consider.

If you’re unsure about the right kind of care for a loved one, or have questions about how to afford their care, contact elder care professionals at P&P Medicaid. In addition to assisting with Medicaid applications on behalf of clients, our company also provides a full range of geriatric care management services to help individuals and their families make decisions about and supervise their long-term care needs.  Please contact P&P Medicaid Consulting, Inc. at (516) 541-4770 for more information.

Dutch Nursing hHome Offers Free Housing to College Students

Humanitas Retirement Home in the Netherlands allows college students to live rent-free as part of a program aimed at suppressing the negative side effects of aging. In exchange for their own apartments, students are required to spend at least 30 hours per month with the nursing home’s residents.

So far, six students from local universities in Amsterdam live among the 160 senior citizens at Humanitas. The students volunteer their time by teaching computer classes and preparing meals, while also engaging in conversations and attending birthday parties. They are allowed to come and go as they please, as long as they do not disturb the senior citizens.

Studies have shown that seniors who are surrounded by others live longer and healthier lives. Social interactions also help to ward off the loneliness and isolation the elderly may feel while living in a nursing home. According to Humanitas CEO Gea Sijpkes, “The students bring the outside world in.”

Elder Care Costs Continue to Rise

Genworth Financial’s annual Cost of Care report, released on Thursday, April 9, 2015, shows that long term care costs continue to increase. Costs for elder care services such as an assisted living facility or a nursing home are dramatically rising, while costs for the services of a homemaker or home healthcare aide are increasing more gradually.

Over the past five years, the cost of care at an assisted living facility has increased 2.5 percent annually, while the cost for a private nursing home room has increased four percent annually. In 2015, the average annual cost for an assisted living facility is $43,200. As for a private nursing home room, it is $91,250.

To save money on long term care, homecare can be a less expensive alternative. For instance, homemaker costs and home healthcare aide services have only risen about 1.6 percent and one percent annually, respectively. The median hourly cost for a homemaker is $19.50, while the hourly cost for a home healthcare aide is $20.

If you have questions or concerns about long term care options for yourself or a loved one, contact P&P Medicaid Consulting at 516-541-4770. We assist in finding nursing homes, assisted living facilities and home healthcare aides, while advising our clients on ways to protect their income and financial resources.