The Aging Boomers - Frank Samson


Truths on senior living and long-term care

It’s essential to become familiar with key issues associated with senior living and long-term care before being confronted with the situation in your family. Most people are surprised to learn about the various nuances of insurance coverage, costs and various options available.

See how well you can answer these statements.

1. True or False  – Seniors on Medicare that need rehabilitation care to regain abilities like speaking and walking after an illness or injury such as a broken hip or a stroke are covered for 100 days.

2. True or False  – Insurance coverage for caregiver assistance at home is limited only to medically necessary skilled care.

3. True or False  – If a senior has been diagnosed with a type of dementia like Alzheimer’s and cannot live safely in their own home, the best option for them is in a Skilled Nursing Facility.

4. True or False  – Medicare does not pay for long-term care.

5. True or False  – Receiving professional care at home is more economical than living in a long-term care location like assisted living.

6. True or False  – The leading cause of injury among seniors (65 years +) occur when driving.

7. True or False  – Medicare can penalize hospitals for excessive readmissions, reducing Medicare insurance payments if too many patients are readmitted within 30 days of their last hospital stay.

8. True or False  – About 70 percent of individuals over age 65 will require at least some type of long-term care services during their lifetime.

9. True or False  – Though benefits are provided by the Veteran’s Administration for a veteran, unfortunately there are no benefits available for the veteran’s spouse.

10. True or False  – From 2000 to 2010, the death rate for Alzheimer’s disease increased by 39 percent, whereas death rates for other major causes of death decreased.

ANSWERS:

1. False. As of 2013, Part A covers up to 100 days in a skilled nursing facility, and the patient receives full coverage for the first 20 days in the facility. From days 21 to 100, the patient pays $144.50 per day, and Medicare pays the rest. After 100 days, the patient must pay the full cost of staying in the facility.

2. False.  Though non-medical homecare is not covered by health insurance, some is covered by long-term care insurance. Non-medical or personal assistance may be help eating, bathing, or going to the bathroom.

3. False.  Those that have some cognitive impairment or dementia like Alzheimer’s, can “age in place” in residences like Assisted Living, many of which specialize in dementia care.  This includes state licensed, private residences which may have 4-12 residences.

4. True. Neither will Medicare Supplement insurance.  These programs will pay only for limited nursing home or home health care, and only after a patient is discharged from the hospital after a 3-day stay.

5. False.  Though the majority of seniors would rather live at home, costs canreach over $10,000 a month for 24-hour care, not including all the costs associated with living in ones own home or apartment.  Also, living alone can be lonely and add to depression without much social interaction. There are several options which can be far less expensive than staying at home.

6. False. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the leading cause of injury among adults age 65 and older in the United States and account for 95 percent of hip fractures. Fortunately, falls are a public health problem that is largely preventable.

7. True.  The goal of the new Affordable Care Act is to is to pressure hospitals to pay attention to what happens to their patients after they walk out the door. The penalties have made hospitals pay more attention and while improving their supervision of discharged patients’ recoveries.

8. True. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

9. False.  Veteran’s aid and attendance benefits for veterans and surviving spouses who require the regular attendance of another person to assist in bathing, dressing, meal preparation, medication monitoring or other various activities of daily living. The monthly benefits can range from $1,113 for a surviving spouse to $2,054 for a married veteran.

10. True. For 2000 and 2010, the age-adjusted death rate for Alzheimer’s disease increased by

39 percent, whereas death rates for other major causes of death decreased including Stroke (-36 percent), Heart disease (-31 percent), and Cancer (-32 percent).

Frank M. Samson, CSA is a Certified Senior Advisor and Founder of Senior Care Authority based in Sonoma (Seniorcareauthority.com.) The company provides support to families throughout California in helping them locate the best In-Home Care, Dementia Care, Independent and Assisted Living for their loved ones. Frank also hosts “The Aging Boomers” on KSVY 91.3FM and Sunfmtv.com. Reach him at .939.8744 or Frank@seniorcareauthority.com.

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