Finding Support During Your Senior Years

Kay Nye, Executive Director for Affinity Hospice of Life Utah explains there are options for help for Seniors who wish to remain in their homes during their golden years.

Ask Yourself, Is living at home still an option? What is considered…
•Can a person safely accomplish activities of daily living? (personal care, meals, household chores, etc.)

•Can they manage their medications and make appropriate decisions about their health and well-being?

• Can the individual navigate safely around their home? (stairs, bathroom, hallways, exits)

• Can they afford to buy some equipment or do some remodeling to make the home safer for the future?

• Do they have someone nearby who will help them in the event of an emergency?

Remaining in the home without adequate support can lead to..
•Higher risk of depression and anxiety

•Higher risk of falls


•Inadequate nutrition, exercise and/or mental stimulation

• Compliance issues with medication

What types of support services are available in the community?

• Fee based, private companies

• County based
Services paid for by Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance

Fee Based Support Services

• Caregivers (Private or Agency)

• Adult Day Care (fee based but some will accept fee based on income)

• Emergency Response Services

• Examples – Med Alert, Lifeline

• Geriatric Care Management

Salt Lake County Aging Services (801)468-2459

• Alternatives Program (currently not funded for new pts)

• Senior Centers

• Chore Services

• Meals on Wheels ($2.25 regular meal, $2.50 special meal)

• Transportation Program

• Volunteer and Senior Employment Program

• Caregiver Support Program
Some programs are income based, others are not.

Home Health

• Paid for 100% by Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance

• Goal is to support the patient in the home.

• In home nursing and therapy services for rehabilitation (need a doctor’s order)

• CNA services, IV therapy, med management, wound care, B12 shots

• Nurses teach patient and caregiver about the disease process. Have programs for incontinence issues, heart health etc.

• Must be home-bound and medically necessary

• Paid for 100% by Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance

• Philosophy of hospice care: provide pain and symptom management instead of curative treatment

• Qualifying for hospice care

• Myths about Hospice

• What services are available from hospice?

• Pays for medications related to hospice diagnosis

• RN who manages medical care

• CNA, HHA who helps with personal care

• Social worker who helps with end of life issues, community resources etc.

• Chaplain and volunteer services

• In home Physician services

What types of housing options are available if a person decides they can’t live alone anymore?

Assisted Living Facilities (ALF)-

Type 1

• Resident may require minimal assistance with up to two activities of daily living including significant assistance with up to 2 activities of daily living.

• Resident may receive help from an outside agency such as hospice.

• Resident must be able to evacuate the building under his own power and must have stable health.

Assisted Living Facilities (ALF)-

Type 2
• Resident may receive full assistance with ADL’s

• Resident may be semi independent and may require the assistance of one person for transfers or to evacuate the building.
Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF)-

• Provides 24 hour nursing care, meals, housekeeping etc as part of the daily rate.

• Medicare pays for a rehab stay up to 100 days.

• Medicaid pays for long term care at most facilities if you qualify.

• Some facilities have special Alzheimer’s/Dementia units which provide specialized care.

How does a person qualify for Medicaid?

• Currently in Utah you must have less than $2000.00 in assets. Your primary residence, your car and a pre-paid irrevocable burial plan are exempt.

• If you have a spouse who is not on Medicaid, your combined assets are divided in half. You must spend down your half of the assets to under 2000.00. Your spouse gets to keep the other half intact (as long as the amount falls between the current income guidelines.)

What is the New Choices Waiver?
• Medicaid waiver program which provides funds to help pay for either assisted living or additional help in the home for people who are at risk for having to remain in a nursing home permanently.

• Must be eligible for Long-term Medicaid coverage.

• Must be in a long term care facility for at least 90 days before you will be considered.

• Case management will be provided.

• Call Kathleen Bowman for more information (801) 538-6497

Preparing for the future. Making Healthcare Decisions

• It is very important to talk to your family about what your wishes are for medical treatment.

• You can insure your decisions will be followed by making an Advanced Directive.

Advanced Directives

• Living Will

• Physician’s Order for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) Not technically an advanced directive, more appropriate for people facing a life-limiting illness.

• Healthcare Power of Attorney-needs to be notarized.

• Utah’s newest Advance Directive form-combines all the above into one form. Appropriate for people who are medically stable.

Preparing for the Future Financially Questions to consider..

What is the difference between appointing a legal guardian, a power of attorney or a limited conservatorship?

How much control do you want your children to have?

How can you avoid probate, related fees and expenses involved?

How can you receive nursing home benefits without losing your hard earned assets?

How can you be sure that your heirs will receive your estate and not the IRS?


• Talk with your family ahead of time about what your wishes are for healthcare treatment in the event of a catastrophic illness. Fill out an advanced directive.

• If you plan to stay at home, make your home a safer place by reducing clutter, installing grab-bars, shower chairs, and other necessary safety equipment.

• Know what support services are available in your community and use them as needed.
Make financial preparations. Appoint someone you trust to make medical and financial decisions for you in the event you become incapacitated.

For More Information Contact Affinity Hospice:
4141 Highland Drive # 200
Salt Lake City, UT
(801) 266-1213

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