WHAT ARE THE ELDERLY HOUSING OPTIONS?
As we age and develop the need for assistance with our activities of daily living (ADL’s), which are generally defined as eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring (walking) and continence, we have options on how to meet those needs. Some of those options are:
- Homecare: Remain in your home and bring care into your home either through private-pay or through the CT Homecare Program for Elders (CHCPE), (Medicaid Waiver) or a combination of both. There is also a State funded Homecare Program for Elders, however, as of 7/1/17, there is a waiting list because there are only a limited number of approved recipients due to our current budget crisis;
- Independent Living Communities: These are usually private pay and require a “buy in” plus a monthly payment. Usually there are multiple buildings housing different care levels such as independent living, assisted living and skilled care. As your health wanes, you are guaranteed a spot in the higher care facility so long as you continue to pay your monthly fee or pay for the skilled care, depending on your contract with the community;
- Assisted Living Facilities (ALF): These are all private-pay because Medicaid does not cover the cost of room and board They are, for the most part, independent living but as your health deteriorates you can obtain some services in exchange for “al a carte” fees. ie: bathing, dressing, prescription assistance;
- Managed Resident Care Facilities (MCF’s or RCF’s): Moderate and Low income Residential Care Facilities. You must meet CHCPE (Medicaid) Qualifications which is less than $1,600 in non-exempt assets and income not more than $2,205/month. If your income is over this, there is an alternative to still qualify. There are only four RCF’s in Connecticut. These are assisted living facilities for the impoverished which carry over your Medicaid benefits to the Skilled Nursing Facility if the time comes that you need that level of care. They have facilities and personnel to furnish food, shelter and laundry as well as personal assistance with bathing, dressing and supervision over medication that is self administered;
- Residential Care Homes: This type of housing is licensed by the State of Connecticut. It is a facility which provides meals and services of a personal nature which does not required the skills of a licensed nurse. In the event the resident runs out of assets, under current law, State Supplement, which is a cash assistance program through the State of Connecticut, will cover the resident’s cost of room and board. There are asset and income limits to be eligible for State Supplement. Additionally, once on State Supplement, the resident will need to pay over most of his or her income to the facility each month to offset the cost of care.
- Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF): Convalescent care. A long term institution licensed by the State of Connecticut that provides skilled nursing care under medical supervision and direction for chronic disease, convalescent stages or acute diseases or injuries. If you can afford to self-pay, you have more options as to where you may want to go. If you are already on Medicaid, you may just go on a waiting list for the next available bed.