Whether someone is moving temporarily to post acute care, or more permanently to senior living, it’s an emotional moment for the whole family. At Atrium, we’ll stand behind all of you. And you’ll breathe easier knowing we’re caring for your family member just like you would.
No doubt about it, figuring out insurance for post acute care and payments for senior living is a challenge. Even strong, sensible adults can get panicky when they see all those numbers. You need someone who understands state and local laws, explains everything clearly and patiently, goes over the tough stuff several times and lays out your options as plainly as possible.
Fortunately, Atrium has wonderful people who do just that at the center or community you’re interested in. Just reach out. We all pledge to help you every way we can.Contact Us
Yes, Medicare will pay for rehabilitation and post acute care if you meet certain clinical criteria. Generally, you must have been in the hospital for at least three nights, no more than 30 days before you were admitted to post acute care. Generally, Medicare covers the first 20 days of rehabilitation in full, and can cover Days 21 to 100 at 80% percent if you need more care.
No. This comes as a surprise to many people.
Medicaid will pay for some post acute care and rehabilitation. In some states it will also pay for most aspects of senior care, including apartments and meals. Your income needs to be low enough to meet their criteria.
Medicare Advantage Plans are managed care plans, like HMOs and PPOs, run by private insurance companies. Like any HMO or PPO, they require that you use the doctors, hospitals and providers in their networks. So yes, your plan might cover some of your Atrium post acute care and rehab. Like Medicare itself, though, Medicare Advantage Plans don’t usually cover senior living (assisted care) or long term care.
Veterans and their spouses may be eligible for benefits that they can use for senior living. If you have service-related injuries or disabilities, or your income is below a certain level, you might qualify. “Non-Service Connected Improved Pension Benefit with Aide and Attendance” (Aid and Attendance for short) is a key benefit.
This specialized insurance pays for senior, assisted living and long term care. How much you pay for coverage depends on your health, when you started buying your coverage, and what level of benefit you want. Some experts suggest buying LTC insurance in your mid-50s, but everyone’s situation is different.
You can cash out a policy for slightly less than it’s worth, or sell it to a third party and cash out that way.
A reverse mortgage (Home Equity Conversion Mortgage, or HECM loan) is a special type of home loan that lets you convert some of your equity into cash. You don’t have to repay the HECM loan until you stop using the home as your principal residence or stop paying the mortgage. Typically, people repay a reverse mortgage by selling the home. This can be a safe way to raise cash if you don’t want to leave your home as part of your estate.
If you need time to raise funds before you enter senior living–say, by selling your house–you can get a bridge loan to tide you over.
Asking someone to move away from home is never easy. But when it must be done, and you’re the person who must do it, the staff at Atrium can help you find the right words. Just call the community you’re interested in. These suggestions have also helped many of our families:
For many people, senior living is the right choice. By taking this step, you could be saving a life (or two).
People who wait for a crisis can make hasty, emotional decisions, and have fewer options to choose from. Give yourself and your family plenty of time to consider.
Pick a time when everyone is less stressed. If your family can manage it, have a family meeting. Rehearse what you’ll say, and how you’ll address objections. After all, you’d do the same for a business meeting–and the stakes are much higher, here.
You’ll have this conversation many times. That’s why we call them “The Talks.”
Your family member’s doctor, clergy, a nurse or a trusted friend can sidestep the usual family dynamics and keep parents from feeling “ganged up on” by their children. There are eldercare mediators who guide more complicated conversations, but be aware that there’s no official certification process for this profession, so choose carefully.
Of course the person you love wants to stay at home. They may be feeling a whole range of scary emotions: fear of losing their independence, guilt, anger, confusion, worry about money. They may think this move is a sign of weakness. As any senior can tell you, old age brings real losses; who wouldn’t fear another one?
As much as possible, ask about preferences. Where do you want to live? Near whom? What information do you need now? When do you want to visit? When do you want to talk again? Don’t fight small battles if you can avoid them. Take a deep breath.
Assisted living isn’t a “nursing home” or “old folks home.” Life won’t end; in some ways, this can be a new beginning. Some people may respond if you ask for help. To them, speak frankly about how much better you’d feel, and how your life would be easier, too.
Senior living is an opportunity. The person you love can socialize more, be more active, shed the burdens of cleaning and fussing and home repairs, but still keep what’s dear–family, friends, faith and even their own doctor.
A lovely day can be more persuasive than a battery of arguments. Visit a nearby community, or several, and linger awhile. Ask for a tour, and don’t be shy about checking out medical offices, bathrooms and rehab facilities. Touch. Sniff. Find a resident who has something in common with your family member: old neighborhood, hobbies or health issues. Come back again, and attend a special event.
Remind them that you’re not leaving, you’re still part of their care team, and you still love them. Yes, you really do.