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Long Term Care, Senior Services

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HAVING THE CONVERSATION ABOUT LONG TERM CARE


Talk sooner rather than later - have the conversation before the need arises

 

Planning for long-term care is never easy. By planning ahead, you can find the quality of care and quality of life desired. Planning also makes the transition easier because many important decisions will have been made or at least discussed. It's also important to talk about finances before the need for long term care arises. Include the person who needs long term care in making decisions whenever possible. Always keep their needs in mind.


Boulder County Long Term Care Ombudsman - Long-term care (nursing home and assisted living)
Residents have specific rights which are part of state and federal regulations. The ombudsmen serve as advocates for long term care residents and their families. They can also let you know about inspection deficiencies.
303-441-1170

The Longmont Senior Services Resource Staff Can Help

Longmont Seniors Resources Coordinator, Ruth Waukau, provides counseling to seniors and their families, supervises the peer counseling program and facilitates two caregivers support groups; one for those caring for dementia patients. You can call 303-651-8414, or you may email ruth.waukau@ci.longmont.co.us

Resource Specialist, Veronica Garcia, can assist with housing concerns, health issues, completing forms for assistance and connecting people to needed resources in the community. She manages the Colorado Life Trak program. Call 303-651-8716 for personal assistance or you may email her at veronica.garcia@ci.longmont.co.us.

 

Long Term Care Options - Local:

Pick up a copy of the Senior Housing Guide for Boulder County (prepared by the Boulder County Aging Services and the Senior Centers in Boulder County) at the Longmont Senior Center or via the web at www.bouldercountyhelp.org, choose Housing Guide. This is a valuable guide to help you look at the various housing options in the local area. It gives you information regarding amenities, location, lease requirements, deposits, etc. for assisted living and long term care facilities.

Long Term Care Options - out of the Area:

If you want information on resources outside Boulder County or the State of Colorado, you could contact the Eldercare Locator, 1-800-677-1116, or www.eldercare.gov


ASSISTED LIVING
Assisted living provides a combination of housing, personal care services, meals and health care monitoring designed to respond to individuals who need assistance with normal daily activities in a way that promotes maximum independence.

Not all assisted living facilities are alike. There are essentially two types: 1) small group facility with a home-like setting; and 2) large facility in apartment-like complex. Both must meet state licensure requirements. It is important to personally visit each of the facilities in your community and find out which facility will be the most comfortable and best meet the needs of your care recipient. Once you have narrowed down the choices to several, take your care recipient with you on a tour so that the final decision can be theirs. After all, they are the one who will be actually living there and it also helps that transition go a little smoother.

NURSING HOMES
Nursing homes are health care facilities which provide short-term rehabilitation or long term care. They provide skilled nursing, personal and medical care, as well as meals, housekeeping and 24-hr supervision. Some facilities have separate Alzheimer's units.

WHEN YOU VISIT THE VARIOUS NURSING HOME/ASSISTED LIVING FACILITIES, ASK LOTS OF QUESTIONS!


Here are some to get you started...
Space
-is the bedroom/bathroom private or shared?
-does the floor plan allow easy mobility?
Safety
-is there a call system?
-are walker/wheelchairs permitted?
-is bathroom safety equipment installed or available - grab bars, raised toilet seat?
-are hallways easy for a walker/wheelchair to maneuver in?
-does the facility appear safe/secure? is the facility open to the public anytime they want?
-is the facility unlocked 24 hours a day? do we need a key/code to access the facility during off hours?
-are we/residents required to sign in/sign out of the facility?
-what security is in place if someone "wanders"?
Care Plans
-
are care plans updated to reflect changes in care needs?
-who is involved in the care planning process?
-are there planned exercise/wellness activities?
-is physical therapy available? how often?
-can outside care providers come in to provide therapies?
Personal Services
-does the facility provide assistance with dressing, bathing, toileting, incontinence, transfers from wheelchair to bed, medication administration, insulin injections?
Staff
-what is the staff turnover in last the last 6 months?
-what is the ratio of staff to resident?
-is there an RN on staff 24 hrs?
-is staff trained to work with special needs, such as dementia or mental illness?
-what are staff/director's qualifications, experience?
Meals
-are specialized diets available (diabetic, etc.)?
-are residents involved in menu planning?
-are cultural or ethnic preferences considered?
-are snacks/beverages readily available between meals?
-are substitutions available?
-mealtime reminders?
Socialization
-are there social activities/outings available?
-do staff encourage residents in activities?

-how do you get residents to participate?
-who plans activities?
-is there a written calendar of activities?
-does the facility provide transportation?
Communication
-does facility inform family/physician when an unusual event occurs?
-is telephone use accessible?
-do you feel comfortable talking with the staff?
Facility Tour/Observations
-have I toured the facility? visit the facility another time unannounced
-is facility well lit/cheery?
-have I observed a meal? you could ask to come and have a complimentary lunch (see how the food tastes!)
-does atmosphere feel pleasant?
-are pets allowed?
-is cable tv available/included?
-do residents seem happy and engaged? visit with some to see how they like living there
-have I observed cleanliness or odors?
-do staff seem to engage with the residents?
-availability - when can we move in? is there a waiting list?
Costs
-what services are included in base price?
-what must I pay extra for (i.e., personal care assistance)?
-are rate increases anticipated in next 6 months?
-are there move-in costs?
-move in/move out rules? 30-day notice/lease/security deposit required?

-does the facility accept Medicaid or have Medicaid beds available?

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--WHO PAYS FOR LONG TERM CARE?--


Medicaid is a government program that will pay for custodial care in some assisted living facilities and in most nursing homes if eligibility criteria are met. Contact the Boulder County Department of Social Services, 303-441-1000, for application and/or information on guidelines.
Medicare - The need for skilled care must relate to prior hospitalization. Medicare may cover the first 20 days of skilled care in a nursing/hospital facility and may pay for a portion of the next 80 days for a total benefit not to exceed 100 days, as long as the person qualifies. If the person is discharged and then remains out for over 60 days, the clock may start over. Contact the nursing home or your local Medicare Ombudsman for more information.
Long Term Care Insurance can assist you in paying for nursing home care. Read your policy carefully for restrictions and benefits. Contact your insurance company for more information.
Private Pay - Many people who do not qualify for Medicaid or Medicare (either Medicare days have been exceeded or stay doesn't qualify) pay privately for nursing home care. Contact the facility administrator for more information.
Supplemental Insurance - If you have a Medicare supplemental policy, it may pay for a portion of long term care, medication or therapies. Contact your supplemental insurance provider to find out about restrictions and benefits. Let the facility know of any supplemental policies.

OTHER CARE OPTIONS INCLUDE:


IN-HOME CARE
You may be able to get help with your personal activities at home from family members, friends or volunteer groups. There are also home care agencies that can give custodial (through private pay or Medicaid) and/or skilled nursing care (could be paid by Medicare with doctor's orders) in your home. In-home services can include Meals on Wheels, housekeeping, physical therapy, personal care, laundry, shopping.

You can find out more about what local in-home services are available by visiting our Services page.

HomeCare Guide for Boulder County is available at the Longmont Senior Center or via the web at www.bouldercountyhelp.org, choose Staying Home Guide.

ADULT DAY CARE
In a comfortable setting, seniors can socialize, enjoy entertainment and participate in planned activities and outings. Nutritious lunches and snacks provided.

The Homestead is a Longmont-based adult day program, sponsored by Longmont United Hospital, supervised by professionals and trained volunteers. Alzheimer's programs are available. It is open to any senior who can maintain self-care with some assistance. Open weekdays 9:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m. with extended hours available. Call 303-772-9152 for more information. See also www.bouldercountyhelp.org.



ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Adult Care Management, Inc. -
HCBS (home and community care based services) - You need to apply through Social Services for Medicaid. This program provides long term care services in your home. Funded through Medicaid. For more information, call 303-439-7011.

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment-Health Facilities Division -
Licenses and inspects assisted living and nursing home facilities. You can find out if the facility has outstanding violations. For more information, call 303-692-2800.

HELPFUL WEBSITES
www.eldercare.gov
US Administration on Aging has developed an Eldercare Locator that will assist you in locating services in your local area
www.longtermcareliving.com

Sponsored by American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living, LongTermCareLiving.com provides consumers with needed information about long term care.
www.lawhelp.org/CO
This valuable site will give you local information on powers of attorney, long term care insurance, elder law issues, elder abuse, wills, estates, probate.
www.senioranswers.org
Colorado Gerontological Society offers answers related to Medicare/Medicaid benefits, legal issues, long-term care, and much more
www.seniorlaw.com
Information about Medicare, Medicaid, estate planning, trusts and the rights of the elderly and disabled
www.medicare.gov
Click on Nursing Home Compare (middle of the page on the right side, under Search Tools heading). This is a valuable site that will give you information on the facilities in your area and their inspection results, staffing, number of beds, etc. You can also download a Guide to Choosing a Nursing Home.

Please feel free to email us at veronica.garcia@ci.longmont.co.us or

call us at 303-651-8716 for personal assistance.

We're here to help!

More answers are just a click away!
Check out these other Longmont Caregiver web pages!
Alzheimer's
Caregiver Home Page
Resources/Services
Support
Taking Care of You
Websites/Books

 

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