03- May2017
Posted By: Tony Fischer
251 Views

Five Long Term Care Options That Aren’t The Nursing Home

Many people think of long-term care as the nursing home.  However, the fact is there are many levels to the senior healthcare continuum, several of which are considered long-term care.  As people age and make their way through the senior healthcare continuum it is inevitable that they will use a service classified as long term care.

That probably changes your view of long term care. So let me give you a simple definition to determine whether a service is or isn’t a long term care service.

Simply put, any health problem that can’t be “fixed” with a doctor’s visit, hospital, or rehab stay is considered long term care.  This includes chronic illnesses or conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Arthritis, and COPD, decreased mobility or memory care.  What more is that insurance coverage for these conditions are short term, once the patient is stabilized insurance coverage often stops.  For this reason almost all of long term care services are paid for out-of-pocket.

A common question asked by seniors is about insurance coverage of long term care services.  The majority of the time our Senior Care Sherpas have to tell them services aren’t covered under Medicare or traditional health insurance.

READ RELATED: How to pay for long term care

The post referenced above explains some different payment options for long term care services, so we won’t go into those here. Instead, now that we know how long term care is defined, let’s look at five options that don’t include going to the nursing home.

Private Duty Home Care

This service features non-medical personal who are hired to come into the home and help the senior with day-to-day tasks.  Healthcare professionals call these tasks “Activities of Daily Living” and they include things like bathing, grooming, housekeeping, laundry, and meal preparation.  Private Duty Home Care companies can also provide companion services for patients suffering from a Dementia based diagnosis.

Home Chore Services

Need work done outside the house? Home Chore services can help.  Many communities offer these services through Area Agencies on Aging or community groups funded by private and government grants. Home Chore service workers will mow lawns, remove snow, clean gutters, clean-up debris and anything else an elderly home owner may need to maintain their property.

Transition Services

With the passing of the Affordable Care Act, many traditional services have evolved to include services for seniors who are at risk for returning to the hospital. Consequently, one of these evolutions is the transitions care manager.  They are nurses who visit the senior’s home and set-up services to help them maintain their independence.  Insurance companies sometimes offer these services as well.  They are often limited in scope but can provide the insight and resources a senior needs to remain at home.

SeniorCareSherpa.com also offers transition services that include a senior care plan.  CLICK HERE for more information.

Independent Senior Living

These are communities of seniors who can live independently with minimal services.  These communities often feature services such as outdoor maintenance and housekeeping.  They also work in conjunction with home care companies to provide additional services as needed.

Assisted Living

With more service offerings than Independent Living, Assisted Living offers services that can almost mirror that of a nursing home.  Assisted Living communities offer a variety of services that enable the seniors to age in place without leaving the community. A senior care get 24-hour care in an assisted living environment if they have the resources and medical conditions warrant.

Senior Care Planning

Want more information? Our Senior Care Sherpas can help guide you through the process of understanding services and identifying needs.  Use the form below and we will be happy to guide you through the list of long term care options.

27- Aug2016
Posted By: Tony Fischer
151 Views

Senior Care Planning: Avoid Over-Paying For Long Term Care

There is a common theme among seniors and their families who are using the long term care system.  Most of them are overpaying.

Seniors are paying too much for long-term care because they lack understanding of how the senior healthcare system works. There are multiple levels of the senior healthcare continuum and although they vary slightly from state to state they still offer plenty of options for seniors; many of which provide better outcomes at a lower cost.

NURSING HOMES ARE THE DEFAULT LONG TERM CARE PLAN!

Patients who are 65+ and need some extended rehabilitation after a hospital stay will probably be encouraged to discharge to the local nursing home. In some circumstances this is the right plan. Nursing Homes are a vital part of the healthcare continuum but seniors only need nursing home level of care if they are have a condition that requires constant monitoring by a doctor or nurse.

Nursing Centers also provide excellent therapy programs for patients needing a more intense therapy intervention than they can get at an outpatient clinic. However unless you a senior needs extensive assistance to attend and complete therapy, there are other options that could be more effective.

OUTPATIENT THERAPY

If a senior has the support of family or friends to help them get to their therapy appointments, outpatient therapy may be the best option. Therapists at this level are focused on a patient’s mobility in the community instead of mobility in a facility.  The therapy sessions are more intense and usually involve more up-to-date equipment than that of the nursing home.

ASSISTED AND INDEPENDENT LIVING

These facilities offer a variety of services for seniors at the fraction of the cost.  Services are often provided onsite, eliminating the need for transportation, and usually include therapy, nursing, incontinence care, medication pass, housekeeping, light meal prep and more. These services can also be increased or scaled back depending on the senior’s health condition. This enables them to manage their precious financial resources.

HOME CARE SERVICES

For those seniors who need assistance without the constant monitoring from a doctor or nurse. Home Care might be the best way to go. Home care is perfect for those who need therapy and nursing treatment but at less of a frequency.

That said home care does have an element of DIY and has the best outcome when supported by family and friends.  Our Senior Care Sherpas can evaluate the seniors current need and help develop a plan that is effective a cost efficient.  Fill out the form below to set up a free consultation.

MORE COST EFFICIENT

According to Genworth.com average cost for Nursing Home nationwide ranges from $6,844 to 7,689.  In some states costs can reach as high as $14,000 a month!  Why so expensive?  Medicare only covers 100% for 20 days into your stay. After that there is a 20% co-payment that could cost around $160 a day!  Nursing Home care is so expensive because of  the licensed and certified staff needed to meet federal and state guidelines.

Unless a senior has a health condition that requires these expensive services, explore other options. There may be services that would be better and cost efficient options suited to meet current needs.