Understanding Health Care Option for Seniors

As you age, your needs may change and you may need assistance with your activities of daily living (ADL) or other more skilled health care services. This article will highlight a variety of health care options when it comes to caring for seniors at home.

Home Health Care

In-home health care is the most independent option. It allows you to remain in your own home and still receive the care you require. In-home health care brings therapy and care services to you, and it prolongs the need for a long-term care facility. Whether it’s speech therapy, physical therapy, nursing care or help with ADL, you can receive it in the comfort of your own home. Home health care companies are licensed by the state and employ nurses, aides or therapists, according to the ElderCare website. Home health care costs vary depending on the agency used and the type of care needed. Financial funding is available through the VA, Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance based on your individual situation.

Assisted Living

Assisted living is the next step toward more skilled care. It still allows you to live independently within the housing setting of assisted living. Although services vary from facility to facility, most offer 24-hour emergency care, assistance with medications and ADL, medical and laundry services as well as social engagement activities. The level of health care for seniors is dependent on the type of care needed. Specialty care, such as memory support for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s, may also be offered in these types of facilities. Paying for assisted living requires either private pay, VA benefits, some insurances or eligible Medicaid plans. Medicare will not cover the cost of assisted living.

Long-Term Care

Long-term care focuses on health care that’s needed for a lengthy period of time, and it doesn’t specifically refer to just the elderly. Long-term care facilities such as nursing homes provide skilled health care, meals, social activities, help with ADL and rehabilitation services, but this care can also be provided in your home. As far as paying for nursing homes, Medicare will only offer certain benefits for this type of care. Most people will qualify for Medicaid to pay for their long-term care, but they must meet the income qualifications, according to the PA Elder Law website.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities

Continuing care retirement communities (CCRC) are a cross between assisted, independent and skilled living. These are often tiered communities where you stay in the same community and additional care is provide as you require more nursing care. You might start in your own independent living situation and then move to an assisted-living arrangement. These communities typically offer assistance with meals, housekeeping and transportation.

Paying for Senior Health Care

Payment options for elder care can include Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, VA Benefits, supplemental health insurance, out-of-pocket payments and several other options. Depending on your financial situation and the type of benefits you qualify for, advance planning for your long-term care needs and a consultation with an elder law attorney is recommended to know your rights and options.