Nursing Home Alternatives in New York

New York Medicaid attorneys help families understand the intricacies of the program, help with applications, and assist in protecting assets from the “spending down” requirement. Many families only seriously think about Medicaid when a senior loved one suffers a medical setback and needs to go into a nursing home?

But what can be done to avoid the nursing home altogether? With only a few exceptions, most seniors are willing to do everything reasonable to age in place, without the need to move out of their home and enter an alternative facility. Independence is important for everyone, and maximizing one’s ability to live on their own should be one of the key goals of all long-term planning.

Finances are often front and center. A Main Street article last week published this year’s Genworth’s “Cost of Care” study results which noted how the average cost of nursing home stays rose 3.3% from last year. This rise is a common trend over the past few years and something that will undoubtedly continue. As we often point out, it often costs well over six figures for a year’s stay in a skilled nursing home in New York.

So what are the alternatives which are cheaper and better in tune with most senior’s preferred living situation?

The same Main Street article points to the many different resources now available to maximize at-home care as a nursing home alternative. For example, there are now many companies that specialize in daily money management. These services aid seniors in day-to-day financial tasks, like paying bills, cashing checks, and more. Similarly, professionals can be hired to buy and deliver groceries, clean, prepare food, and assist with virtually every other daily chore. Having the aid of a geriatric care manager is helpful to learn more about these tools and get references for providers in your area.

If more aid is need, a home can be retrofitted with wheelchair ramps, grab bars, more accessible toilets and showers, and more. If a move is ultimately required, a skilled nursing home is still not the only option. There are various levels of assisted living facilities available, from “senior villages” to apartment complexes with different on-site support. One good resource to help identify local options is the website run by the “Village to Village” network. You can view it here.

Obviously all of this has a cost. If you have long-term care insurance, depending on the policy, some may be covered. But even if you do not, New York Medicaid may be a viable option, as some at-home services are available to participants.

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