On April 18, 2012, Tracy Heavy Runner, Case Management Coordinator with Five County Association of Governments, spoke on Long Term Care Options for home based and care facility settings.

Medicare does not pay for long term care but does pay for necessary services by a licensed health care professional for 20 days and potentially for up to 100 days. Medicaid pays for people with "low income and assets" and for long term care if one qualifies.

Broad options include Assisted Living facilities, Health Care Facilities, Hospice, and home & community based programs.

If you are married, Medicaid eligible, aged 65 or over, need help with at least 2 activities of daily living (ADLs) and you meet nursing home admission criteria, you might be eligible for the Aging Medicaid Waiver, which provides services otherwise not available.

The State Alternatives Program provides up to $750/month for low income people, aged 60 or over, who are not on Medicaid.

There is a Federal Caregiver Support Program administered by the Five Counties Government Association. There is no income or asset limitation for this program. The program is for care receivers or care givers with Alzheimer's or related disorders, aged 60 or over, where the care receiver meets certain criteria and where the care giver has a medium to high risk score.

There are also public and non-profit agencies as well as private pay options in the county.

In selecting a care facility, planning ahead is most important - do your planning before the need actually arises and creates a crisis situation.

  • Tour the facility including making a surprise visit.
  • Review the copy of the state license review (which each facility must have available).
  • Look at the fees to determine what is or is not included
  • Review the contractual agreement, staffing ratio and the daily life in the facility, services and activities.
  • Ask family and friends about their experiences there.

Hospice provides compassionate end-of-life services, this is palliative care not curative care. To be eligible for hospice care, a doctor must designate the person is terminally ill with a 6-month life expectancy. Services are usually paid by insurance/HMO. Medicare, & Medicaid, and several such companies are available in this community.

Call Carrie Shonlaw at 435-673-3548, Tracy Heavy Runner at 435-865-7165, or Teresa Carpenter at 435-538-6148 for more information.