Page 33 - Senior Housing Directory 2021 South Central Michigan
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 Covering Costs For Care
If you or your loved one has been living at home with the full support of fam- ily caregivers it is important to recognize that there may be a point in time when the caregiver reaches exhaus- tion. The reality is that an exhausted family caregiver is at risk for a host of health issues if they do not get the relief they need. Being willing to allow either part- or full-time care services
to come into the home or
moving to a facility may be
the best next step for everyone involved. The challenge is covering the cost for care.
In-Home Health And Personal Care
This can be valuable to both the care receiver as well as the caregiver, it can also be expensive. According to AARP, a private duty home health aide averages $21 per hour; professional level care can cost even more but may also be covered by insurance. Either way, investing in caregiving help is often money well spent when a limited number of services or support time is needed. Cost for 24-hour in-home care can reach over $12,000 per month and at that point a skilled nursing facility might be a better option for physi- cal, mental, and financial health.
If home health aides are not in your budget, there might be other ways to seek help. The local grocery store may offer delivery services. Churches offer volunteer programs. Can you pay a teen neighbor to mow the lawn or do house cleaning so you can spend your time with your loved one? Services can also be paid for through county millages, the VA Aid
& Attendance or Housebound program, and employer programs. Find out what qualification criteria must be met before you jump in.
Other programs offer choices that allow individuals to live independently while receiving nursing facility level of care in their home or in a community setting in Michigan.
One program run by Michigan Med- icaid is the MI Choice Waiver program. Through Waiver, eligible adults who meet income and asset criteria can receive Medicaid-covered services like those provided by nursing homes but can stay in their own home or another residential setting. Each participant can receive the basic services Michigan Medicaid covers,
supports coordination, as well as addi- tional services. The participant has greater choice in care they want.
Another option is PACE. The
Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) is a capitated benefit
that features a comprehensive service delivery system and integrated Medicare and Medicaid financing for frail, elderly individuals that meet Long Term Care (LTC) level of care criteria. For most PACE participants (enrollees), the comprehen- sive service package permits them to continue living at home while receiving services rather than being institutionalized. Participants must meet certain criteria but it begins with being medically qualified and at least 55 years of age.
MI Health Link is an additional option. MI Health Link offers a broad range of medical and behavioral health services, pharmacy, home and community-based services, and nursing home care, all in a single program designed to meet individ- ual needs. Those who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid and qualify for MI Health Link will be sent enrollment options through a letter.
AFC, HFA, and Assisted Living
Costs for individuals residing at an adult foster care (AFC) home, a home for the aged (HFA), or an unlicensed assist- ed living vary from facility to facility with limited options for financial support. Costs will also vary within a facility depending on the services received.
Some people can afford to pay fees from their own income and savings. Others may choose to sell their home, sign a reverse mortgage, sell other assets, or access dollars from investments.
Some local businesses include a long-term care program benefit or have supports services that will provide assis- tance such as with the Kellogg 25 Year
Trust. Others may have purchased long-term care insurance on their own that pays all or part of the cost of activities of daily
living or assisted living. Some life insurance policies have a chronic illness rider. Generally, you can qualify
if you are unable to do two of six activities of daily living without assistance or if you need assistance for cog- nitive impairment. Finally, there is family.
Many find it difficult to find affordable assisted living. Unlike
skilled nursing facilities, government financial assistance for assisted living is very limited, however, a Veteran and their spouse may qualify for assistance through the Aid and Attendance program.
If you are considering moving into an ACH, HFA or unlicensed assisted living, one of the questions you should be asking yourself is, “How long can I afford to live
in this facility?" You should consider not only current costs and fees, but future increases. You also need to think about how your care needs may change and how that will impact costs. And if private funds run out, it may be necessary to move to another facility. Average costs
for assisted living is $3,250 per month, or $39,000 annually, according to AARP. For most, additional support will be necessary to stay long-term. See pages 24-27 for
a more detailed list of questions to ask before moving in.
Veterans Administration
The Veterans Administration provides pension benefits to Veterans, their spous- es, and widows or widowers with limited incomes. Probably the most underutilized Veteran’s benefit available is the VA Aid and Attendance Pension. This bene-
fit pays for home care, assisted living,
and adult foster care expenses, where traditionally, people would have to go into a nursing home to have the government (Medicaid) help pay for their care. This benefit is a great alternative to Medicaid or even long-term-care insurance (for those who are not insurable). Information can be obtained by calling the Veterans Administration at 1-800-827-1000 or your local regional benefit office. For assistance in Calhoun County you can reach out to Calhoun County Veterans Affairs at (269) 969-6735.

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