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Mar8

Colorado Medicaid Eligibility Requirements
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Home and Community Based Services, or HCBS, is a Colorado Medicaid program that allows eligible individuals to remain in a home setting with an array of services in place. These services promote independence at home and can delay or even take the place of the need for your loved one being institutionalized. Depending on the individual need, the HCBS waiver programs can allow for the following services:

  • senior home care services
  • skilled nursing visits
  • C.N.A. visits
  • a lifeline installation
  • medical and non-medical transportation
  • adult day care
  • timed medication dispensers

Income & Resource Eligibility for Medicaid in Colorado

The individual income cap for an individual applying for Long Term Care Medicaid is $2,022 per month. If the individual makes more than that number an “income trust” may be set-up . This will allow individuals exceeding the state limits to still participate in the program, albeit ultimately at a greater monetary cost to them. In addition to the $2,022 per month, an individual may not have more than $2,000 in countable assets.

An important factor to consider when applying for Long term care is that only the applicant’s income is counted. This allows for a married couple to have one person apply and the individual’s, not the couples total income is counted. Additionally, that individual still needs to meet the $2000 in countable assets, but their spouse can keep up to $109,560 in countable resources.
Finally, if both spouses will be applying for Medicaid, they may have only up to $4000 in countable resources.

Functional Medicaid Eligibility in Colorado

Meeting the financial eligibility for Long Term Care Medicaid in Colorado is only the first of two steps. A functional assessment is performed by the specific county’s Single Entry Point Agency (SEPA). It is the duty of the person performing this assessment to determine whether or not there is a functional need for services to be provided. The amount of home care services, for example, will be determined by the initial assessment, and is available for review as conditions change.

How to Apply for Colorado Medicaid

Colorado Medicaid applications can be found online. Click Medicaid once the main page has appeared. Applications can then be submitted to the Department of Human/Social Services. You can also contact the local Vida office for assistance applying for Colorado Medicaid or with Senior Home Care Services in Denver at 303.252.4477.

If you would like assistance or more information you can always call us at 1.866.775.0028, visit our Senior Home Care Agency Directory, or fill out this simple online form. Get Help Now!

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Sep29

Paying for Long Term Care Costs with Medicaid
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Are you looking into the best options for funding long term care for yourself or a loved one? Chances are, if not now, there will come a time in the future when you’ll be seeking real options. Whether they are looking for elderly home care, an assisted living facility, or nursing home care, the majority of Americans will need help to maintain their day to day functions as they age. Ideally, socking away a small fortune to prepare for the inevitable is ideal. However, if this isn’t an option, there are valid alternatives to help fund long term care. In this post, we’ll be focusing on the Medicaid option. The purpose of this blog is to give a basic overview of Medicaid eligibility, benefits, and potential pitfalls.

Medicaid Eligibility

Medicaid is a jointly funded Federal and State program for individuals with low incomes and few resources. Since Medicaid is administered at the state level, eligibility criteria will vary depending on the state in which one lives. As a general rule, Medicaid recipients applying for long term care must meet the following criteria:

  • Limited income. Income eligibility criteria will vary from state to state (long term care Medicaid for your State may have a higher income allowance than straight Medicaid).
  • Limited assets. Most States limit assets to around $2,000, however an individual may own their home and a vehicle.
  • Functional eligibility. In order to be eligible for long term care benefits, applicants must meet a certain criteria. Generally speaking, they must demonstrate that their is a true need for day to day assistance, that renders them unable to remain independent on their own.

To find out your state’s eligibility requirements, call your local Department of Human Services, or look them up online. Applications can almost always be printed from the websites and mailed in for your convenience.

Medicaid Benefits

So what benefits are available once an applicant has been qualified for Medicaid? For those who wish to remain in their homes, most states offer waiver programs which allow for an array of health care professionals to provide home care services to them in their private residences. These services include the provision of Personal Care Attendants, C.N.A.’s and Registered Nurses. Coupled with case management, these services allow for nearly every facet of senior home care to be provided, allowing maximum independence for the recipient. The trend in recent years has shifted towards long term care in a home and community based setting, allowing for both greater freedom of choice, and offsetting the mental anguish that can come from being uprooted from familiar settings. For those needing a higher level of care, Assisted Living Facilities, and Skilled Nursing Facilities are also available through Medicaid benefits.

Potential Medicaid Pitfalls

There are some important things to consider before applying for Medicaid for long term care. There is a look back period in which Medicaid will not only verify current assets, but all assets over the last 5 years. Simply put, it is not considered acceptable for considerable assets to disappear without coming under intense scrutiny. An experienced elder-law attorney can be utilized to assist families and individuals in setting up trusts and legitimately spending down their assets in order to meet eligibility requirements. Medicaid also has an estate recovery clause that mandates for individuals age 55 or older, states are required to seek recovery of payments from the individual’s estate for nursing facility services, and those enrolled in a Home and Community Based Services Waiver Program. A Medicaid recipient’s assets from his/her home will not be recovered while a spouse is living there. In addition setting up a survivorship deed for a spouse can exclude a home from being recovered even after the surviving spouse has passed.

Medicaid is a viable option for long term care. In many situations, the same level of quality care being provided to persons paying privately, or utilizing long-term care policies is available through Medicaid as well. Many in home senior care agencies, including many of your local Vida Certified Home Agencies accept Medicaid. In addition, thanks to more stringent regulation, the level of quality care at the Nursing Home level has increased across the board. If you are considering Medicaid as an option for long term care, please do your own due diligence, consider the benefits and drawbacks, speak to your local Department of Human Services, and consider all available options.

If you would like more information about Medicaid or need help with a loved one or friend you can always call us at 1-866-273-2995, visit our Senior Home Care Agency Directory, or fill out this simple online form. Get Help Now!

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Aug28

Elder Care Guardianships
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There may come a time when an individual may be presented with the responsibility of being appointed as a guardian. The term “guardian” can have different meanings depending upon the states in which the term is applied. Generally speaking, a guardian is an individual appointed by the court to assist with the personal, medical, and day to day affairs of an individual determined to be incapacitated by the court. The recipient of the guardianship is referred to as a “ward”. The process of becoming a guardian is voluntary, and generally is taken on by a relative, or trusted friend of the ward. If the aforementioned persons are either unwilling or unqualified, the court may appoint a professional guardian.

The duties and responsibilities of a guardian vary from state to state. Specific information regarding legalities and processes can generally be obtained through the official state website in which you live. A google search of guardianship+state will yield results for many useful resources, including organizations that specialize in assisting guardians in their responsibilities.

Serving as a guardian brings with it a hefty amount of responsibility. You will be expected to ensure the basic daily needs of your ward through making decisions about where the ward will live (including arranging home care services, and placing the ward in an assisted living facility), should there be a need. Depending on the condition and special needs of the ward, guardianship can be a time consuming, tedious responsibility. However, providing assistance to those who cannot help themselves is a rewarding and worthwhile pursuit.

Currently Serving as a Guardian?

If you currently serving as a guardian to someone who is incapacitated, that person may be in need of vital services. Vida Senior Resource has a number of options that may be appropriate. If a home environment is optimal and feasible, in home senior care may be the perfect option. Professional caregivers are able to seamlessly assist with the activities of daily living that would otherwise prohibit an incapacitated individual from maintaining their independence. Caregivers can perform a variety of duties, including personal cares, meal preparation, housekeeping, and transportation. If a ward can no longer remain living independently, even with assistance, the Vida Senior Resource Assisted Transitions program can help place them in the appropriate setting at no charge. This includes chaperoning tours and providing detailed information on suitable living situations of Assisted Living Facilities, Board and Care Facilities, or Skilled Nursing Facilities. These options serve to help provide quality of life for the recipient, and give a guardian peace of mind knowing their ward is receiving the quality of care they’ve been entrusted to provide.

If you have been entrusted as a guardian, remember to do your due diligence in educating yourself on your responsibilities. Remember that there are a world of resources at your fingertips to help ensure you’re ward is receiving the very best help available.

If you would like more information or need help with a loved one or friend you can always call us at 1-866-273-2995, visit our Senior Home Care Agency Directory, or fill out this simple online formGet Help Now!

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Jan24

Elder Fall Prevention, Helpful Tips for Peace of Mind
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As the Administrator of All Valley Home Care in Thornton CO, I have answered the calls of hundreds of individuals and family members in need of help.  The main objective of our service is to help people remain independent in their own homes.  The prospect of losing independence is  a thought that can frighten even the most steadfast individual.  That being said, I would like to focus on a subject that if properly heeded can help insure the independence of you and your loved ones.

As we age, many conditions can arise that increase our chances of suffering a fall. These risk factors can include poor eyesight, physical ailments, and side effects of medications to name just a few.  While we cannot always prevent conditions that sometimes come with aging, a little awareness can go a long way to prevent a potentially life threatening fall.  While researching this subject, I came across some statistics concerning falls that surprised even me.  According to an article published by the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, 50 percent of the elderly who sustain a fall-related injury will be discharged to a nursing home rather than return home.  Please take a moment to take that in, I myself was floored by this staggering statistic.  This means that half of all elderly persons hospitalized for a fall won’t be going home!

So what can we do then to help assure the health and independence of our elderly loved ones?  In my field, it is protocol to do a home safety evaluation before ever starting services for in-home-senior-care.  The main function of this assessment is to make sure our client’s living arrangements are safe for the provision of care and to identify potential hazards.  However, any family member or friend of an elderly person can conduct their own safety evaluation if there is a worry that an individual may be a fall risk.  Here are some things to look for inside the home when considering fall prevention: 1) Is there proper lighting throughout the house? 2) Are walkways and stairways free of clutter, ie; clothes, baskets, dog toys, etc;? 3) Is there a need to install grab bars in areas where a person needs them most ie; the bathroom, and bedroom? 4) Do throw rugs need to be removed? 5) Are readily used items within reach without having to use a stepstool? 6) Are electrical cords and telephone cords free from all walkways? 7) Do handrails need to be installed on stairs or in hallways?

Using caution and common sense, most falls can be prevented.  We all want to see our loved ones maintain their independence, so let’s take the simple steps of prevention today to prevent future disasters.

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