The physical aspect of elder care, bathing, dressing, feeding, transportation can be made routine. You can find shortcuts or get help to make it easier on yourself.
The negative emotional aspects of anger, frustration, isolation, and guilt are more difficult to deal with. These emotions creep up on you, complicate your life and your care giving efforts, last long after the care giving is over, add to your physical stress, and can shatter families and lead to law suits.
How To Pick The Right Rehabilitation Facility
After a stay of at least three days in a hospital Medicare will pay up to twenty days in a live-in rehabilitation facility for your loved one (LO). His/her supplemental insurance should pay for up to an additional eighty days. The following is why and how you should take advantage of this opportunity.
When it comes to picking the right doctor your geriatrician is probably going to be your best source. If the procedure is a routine one that should be fine. When you talk to the surgeon before the procedure be sure you bring a notebook, ask plenty of questions about the procedure, the potential outcomes, and the pace of the recovery. Take notes.
If you are caring for an elderly parent with chronic conditions chances are that at some point they will be staying in a hospital. In the seven years that we took care of my father-in-law he was in the hospital thirteen times. Eight of those admissions resulted in a subsequent stay in a re-hab facility. (more…)
Contact Medicare 1-800-633-4227 or Medicare.gov for information about Medicare and how it can help pay for your parent’s care. Medicare paid for my father-in-law’s dialysis, hospital stays, rehab stays, hospital bed rental and visits to the doctor. Between Medicare and AARP supplemental insurance most of his care was covered. We estimate that his care over seven years cost close to $1,000,000.
Medicaid is a Federal and state health insurance program for people with limited financial resources. In determining what are financial assets your elderly parent’s home, furniture, car or insurance policies with a cash value of $5,000 or less are not counted as assets.
The guidelines for what is covered vary from state to state and the amount of money available to pay for Medicaid covered services are subject to political forces. To find out what those guidelines are in your state and which program is the best for your elderly parent, contact your local Area Agency on Aging.
The Qualified Medical Beneficiary Program is for those people who are at or below the poverty level which is defined as $4,000 in financial assets for an individual or $6,000 for a couple. The state will cover the premiums and deductibles.
Specified Low Income Medicare Beneficiary Program is for those people who are 10% above the poverty level.
If you plan on using Medicaid for your elderly LO you should contact an elder law attorney who specializes in filing Medicaid applications. The attorney will also advise you on how to manage your LO’s financial assets.
You need advice of what expenses are eligible and which are not. You do not want the state to come after you to reclaim money to reimburse it for the expenses they covered. Go to naela.com for a listing of elder law attorneys.
Hospitalization, doctors’ visits, and medications are covered. Not all doctors take Medicaid so you have to find one that does and be prepared to wait for an appointment. If you can’t wait for an appointment then you will have to go to the emergency room for treatment.
Most states have a waiver program that pays for services at home instead of placing your LO in a nursing home. If your LO qualifies for admission to a nursing home but would prefer to live at home you might be eligible for PACE (Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly). Your LO will be provided with all that he/she needs to live safely in their home.
Visit Medicare.gov/Nursing/alternatives/PACE.asp for more details.
Call your Area Agency on Aging or the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) for information on the PACE program or any other issues regarding Medicare or Medicaid.