Virtually all seniors would prefer to enjoy their golden years at home instead of in a nursing facility. When helping local residents craft their New York long-term care plan, our New York elder law attorneys often advise community members on the ways that they can be financially prepared to age at home whatever the future might bring. In most cases the earlier that one properly plans, the greater likelihood that they will have the resources necessary to receive extra care at home without moving into a skilled nursing facility. However, for many seniors, at-home care remains out of reach.
Fortunately, those involved in elder care have been at work on alternative programs that will allow seniors to age gracefully at home whenever possible. Last week Healthcare IT News reported on a new subscription-based telehealth service that was launched in New York. The initiative includes a platform of new information technology tools to help seniors stay at home by tracking vital signs and allowing seniors to virtually communicate with caregivers. The comprehensive mix of services is intended to expand the group of community members who are able to stay in their house on their own while still receiving some day-to-day assistance.
The program is called “Virtual Living” and will use FDA approved caregiving services to allow medical providers to remotely monitor vital signs at home. From checking blood pressure and blood-glucose levels to evaluating a resident’s weight, these tools are intended to ensure that help is dispatched in a timely fashion whenever problems are noticed by those monitoring the senior’s health from afar. This monitoring will be combined with additional services including nutritional aid and social work. The program is set to begin this month in New York with plans to expand the nationwide in the next couple months.
As our New York elder law estate planning lawyers often advise clients, the majority of health plans and Medicaid programs do not reimburse the cost of services for home-bound seniors. This is one of the main reasons why many local residents decide to move into nursing homes even though they’d usually prefer to stay in their house. This initiative seeks to help those in that situation. The new company explains that the cost of the program starts at about ten percent of the cost of an average assisted living center contract. If the program is successful, this may make it possible for more seniors who plan accordingly to have the home elder care they want at the time that they need it.
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