For today’s aging population it is important to be informed about the options for Long-Term Care. In general, “Long-Term Care” is defined as helping individuals, of any age, with their medical or daily needs, over an extended period of time. Long-Term Care can be provided in various types of institutional facilities, in the community, or in one’s own home. It is important to note, the quality of care, and well as the quality of caregivers, can vary greatly from place to place, and is therefore imperative to research and make decisions about Long-Term care before a crisis occurs and is immediately needed. Advanced planning is a necessity. When researching Long-Term Care options, one must find out more specifically the type of care needed:
What services do you need?
What services are available?
Do the services meet your budget?
In brief, Long-Term Care can be provided at a facility, in the community, or at home, all have individual benefits.
Nursing homes offer care to those who cannot take care of themselves, and cannot be provided for in the comfort of their own homes. They provide skilled nursing care and assist with activities of daily living. They are licensed by the State and must provide at least 2 hours of direct contact per patient each day. The cost can vary, but generally is $6,000-$10,000 per month.
Assisted living and continuous care retirement communities provide a significantly lower level of care and assistance than nursing homes, but can be of assistance if an individual needs some daily supervision in the setting of their own residence, but is more-or-less, self-sufficient. There are no minimum staffing requirements under State regulations, more than providing a ‘sufficient’ level of personnel. Again the cost can vary greatly, but in general can range from $3,000-$5,000 per month.
In-Home Care can be assistance with daily activities, and or companionship and can be provided by friends, family, volunteers, or paid professionals. Services can include personal assistance, housekeeping, accompaniment, errands, and more. The extent and the cost of the services can vary greatly, depending on the amount and the geographical region, but can be a little as a couple hundred dollars per month, up to a few thousand.
Adult Day Health Care is the most under-utilized and cost efficient form of Long-Term Care. These programs allow individuals to live in their own homes with their loved ones, but provide daily supportive services, meals, socialization, physical activity, and cognitive stimulation, at a fraction of the cost of other services. Additionally day programs allow for working families to know their loved ones are active and safe each and every day, while remaining an in-tact family at home each and every night. Many day programs even care for individuals with advanced dementia and Alzheimer’s disease as well as other mental and physical disabilities. They are licensed by the State and have strict staffing requirements in contrast to other Long-Term Care options. Costs vary depending on the program but generally are under $1,500 per month for all offered services.
When selecting a Long-Term Care category, first determine what services are needed, and then determine which care option provides those services at the best ‘relative’ cost. Next, one must determine how to pay for such services. Most health plans, such as health insurance and Medicare, do NOT cover Long-Term Care services, however, there are other sources of assistance. Medicaid (TennCare) covers most services for low-income individuals, while the Area Agency on Ageing and disability (GNRC-AAAD) offers assistance programs without income restrictions. The Veterans Administration also provides assistance for all military veterans, active or not. Long-Term Care Insurance provides reimbursement for those who have coverage. Private coverage is also an option for those who are not eligible for other programs. Many providers operate on a financial based sliding scale for private pay clients.
When you have selected the services you need and can afford you must then select a provider for those services. First and foremost, look for quality:
Is the facility or business licensed or accredited by a State agency?
How long has the company been in operation?
Has the record of care been clean, or has it recently or ever, faced sanctions for improper care?
Is it properly staffed?
Can it meet the specific needs of your loved one?
Over the course of more than 29 years, there have been very few individuals who have not qualified for services at Centennial Adultcare Center. We offer a highly structured Adult Day Health Care program as well as supportive In-Home Care Services to a wide variety of individuals spanning all age ranges, and physical and cognitive impairment levels. Call or come in today and see for yourself how we can provide your loved one a fun, safe, activity filled day and allow them to remain living safely at home!