For a long time, Medicaid regulations in many states have made it necessary for seniors to live in a nursing facility in order to receive benefits. This trend seems to be reversing, as many seniors are doing the best they can to vocalize their desire to live independently. In the State of Ohio for example, half of all seniors are receiving long-term care services in their home, up from ten percent in 1993.
Currently, family members are taking much of the in-home care burden. The average cost of in-home care nationwide is $20 per hour or more, and many seniors cannot afford to pay out of pocket for in home services. As the population ages, there will be fewer unpaid people available to take on the bulk of the care, and a caregiving shortfall will develop. Volunteerism and community programming will become an increasingly important part of long-term care. While these volunteer programs can’t provide much in skilled care, they can help seniors stay in their homes longer.
One thing is certain, the wishes of seniors to stay in their home are being acknowledged by Medicaid regulators. Work is being done to ensure that those that can stay in their home do. There are many resources in the State of Florida to help seniors live in the way they wish to live. Call 1-800-96-ELDER (1-800-963-5337) to find the nearest Aging and Disability Resource Center near you.
NextAvenue’s does a comprehensive job of outlining this urgent issue. Take a look at “Will We Really Be Able to Age in Place: New models of support for aging Americans show promise” for more information.
Judie Rappaport, President & Founder
Preferred Lifestyle Services
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