Keep Them Out of Nursing Homes

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In a recent Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article, “State told to do more to keep elderly out of nursing homes,” it was written that the commonwealth of Pennsylvania needs to do more to expand its home-based services for seniors in order to keep them out of nursing homes.

Consumers and providers are urging state Department of Aging officials to do more to help seniors remain in their own homes. This came right on the heels of a draft version of the Pennsylvania State Plan on Aging for 2008-12.

What I found a bit disappointing is that a public hearing on the plan at a local community college attracted fewer than 15 people, with only two of them commenting on the needs of the 60-and-older senior population. The two attendees who spoke were concerned that there are not enough reliable, affordable options for those who need assistance in their homes.

There may be some help available.

Funding is a critical factor for those who want to remain living in their homes comfortably and independently. In some states, relief can be found in long-term care insurance policies. In addition to paying for skilled care and covering assistance with the activities of daily living (what those two seniors spoke about at the hearing), long-term care insurance policies can also provide payouts for home modifications.

Long-term care insurance typically covers the cost of:

  • Help for you in your home with daily activities like bathing, dressing, eating, and cleaning;
  • Community programs, such as adult day care;
  • Assisted living services that are provided in a special, residential setting other than your own home (these services may include meals, health monitoring, and help with daily activities);
  • Visiting nurses.

For those of you who wish to continue living comfortably and independently as you age, check with your insurance provider to determine what home services/home modifications they will pay for.

What concerns do you have about aging and living independently?

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