Could Medicaid Help Pay for Your In-Home Care?
By Rick Law of Law Elder Law, Senior Advocates in Aurora, IL Most people want to remain at home for as long as possible as they age. But, some seniors living at home need help with activities of daily living and the cost of hiring in-home help can add up quickly. Is a nursing home your only option? Most people think that Medicaid will only pay if the senior is in a nursing home and is already impoverished. Few people know about a special benefit within Medicaid law that allows some seniors to stay at home longer, qualify for assistance with Adult Day care, and even keep more money – all while still qualifying for benefits to pay for care! This benefit is called the Medicaid Community Care Program. The Illinois Department on Aging’s Community Care Program helps seniors who might otherwise need nursing home care to remain at home by providing help that the senior may need. This includes help within the home, as well as in the community. This program allows qualifying seniors to keep their independence, while providing cost effective alternatives to a nursing home. Some of the benefits of the Community Care Program include:
- In-Home Help is available to provide assistance with household tasks and personal care for older adults who are moderately impaired. It could be something as simple as uncapping medications and providing water, or even assisting with personal care, cleaning, doing laundry, preparing meals. Help with more complex tasks is also included, such as meal planning, shopping and arranging transportation.
- Emergency Home Response Service provides the senior with a signaling device for 24-hour emergency coverage. That way, if help is needed (such as a fall or a fire), the senior can easily alert the authorities and get fast help.
- Adult Day Services offer older adults the opportunity to interact with other people in a safe, supervised setting outside the home. Snacks and a noon meal are provided, and participants may enjoy everything from arts and crafts to card games. Counseling and physical therapy with trained professionals are also available in some centers. Adult day service centers can greatly help caregiving family members who may need a few hours to themselves, or who work outside the home during the day. In many adult day service centers funded by the Illinois Department on Aging, specialized programs are available for seniors with memory problems such as Alzheimer’s or dementia.