For people facing progressive issues like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and general dementia, few issues cause greater anxiety than trying to bridge the gap between the things they can no longer do for themselves. While Medicare covers cost of home-health nurses who provide therapy or medication services, it does not cover the cost of services most often needed - activities of daily living. Activities of daily living include feeding yourself, dressing, bathing, using the toilet, cooking, cleaning – the mundane tasks we take for granted until we find it harder to do these things.
Options for funding home-based care options are similar to those for nursing care – insurance, annuities, private pay or Medicaid. Most health insurance plans cover services similar to Medicare and for a short period.
If you are wrestling with how to provide home health services for a loved one there are tools available to calculate the cost - this calculator allows you to drill-down by region of the state or view costs in other states. According to Genworth, the South Carolina median cost for homemaker services (cooking, cleaning, errands) is $3,623 per month and the cost for a home health aide (grooming assistance and personal care) is $3,804.
Medicaid also provides a community-health program, called Community Long Term Care (CLTC) or Elderly & Disabled waivers in South Carolina. The application and qualification process is the same as applying for nursing care and the cost of care is capped at a percentage of the comparable cost of care in a nursing home. The person receiving care can choose the caregiver who provides services and they provide a wide variety of services. Check out the US Department of Health and Human Services long-term care page for more information. South Carolina Healthy Connections also has a page dedicated to CLTC.
Please also call my office for guidance on planning for long-term care - you don't need to go it alone.