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Housing and Care Options for Seniors, People with Disabilities and Others

  • Synopsis: Published: 2011-12-13 (Revised/Updated 2014-03-15) - Understanding of some of the options available to look for ways to ensure seniors can remain living in their own homes as independently as possible - Wendy Taormina-Weiss.

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Quote: "People who are considering home care should talk about it with their family members to find out if they can help to provide care or assist with arranging for a care provider to enter their home to assist..."

Everyone ages, this includes people with disabilities. As people age they begin to look for ways to ensure they remain living in their own homes, or at least as independently as possible.

An understanding of some of the options available to us can certainly help.

The Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRC) program is a sort of, 'doorway,' program. ADRC's are a collaborative effort through the Administration on Aging (AoA) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), one that is meant to make it easier for people with disabilities to access long-term care. The ADRC program gives states the opportunity to integrate a wide-range of long-term supports and services in an effective way through a single, coordinated system. ADRC's, through simplification of access to long-term care systems and additional, 'single point of entry (SEP),' systems serve as a base for the reform of long-term care in a number of states in America.

ADRC's are located in nearly every community in America. People with disabilities and others, despite age or level of income, can go to these centers to obtain information regarding a wide-variety of long-term support options.

On a national level, ADRC's have taken steps to:

  • Create person-centered and community-based places that promote the independence and dignity of people
  • Provide easy access to information and assist people to explore the long-term support options available to them
  • Provide both resources and services that support a number of needs family caregivers have

The ADRC's focus services on seniors and people with physical forms of disabilities, developmental, intellectual, or serious mental health disabilities. The main goal of the ADRC's is the provision of services to every person who has long-term care needs despite their age, or the form of disability they experience.

The programs available through ADRC's provide people who require public or private resources, with information and assistance. Professionals who are looking for the assistance on the part of those they serve, as well as people who are planning for future long-term care needs, can also find information through ADRC's. The programs through ADRC's are entry points to long-term, publicly administered supports to include ones that are funded through Medicaid, state revenue programs, and the Older Americans Act.

What are some options for remaining in your own home, or staying as independent as possible as you age

The ARDC's are a wonderful source of information where long-term care and people with disabilities are concerned, but perhaps an expansion on ideas would help. What follows are some ideas you might consider.

Home and Community Care: People who are either ill or experience a form of disability might find assistance through a number of home services that make a nursing home unnecessary. For example; friendly visiting and shopper services, Meals on Wheels, and adult day care programs can help. Programs such as these can be found in the majority of communities.

People who are considering home care should talk about it with their family members to find out if they can help to provide care or assist with arranging for a care provider to enter their home to assist. Some nursing homes can provide people with respite care, admitting people who need care for a short amount of time so family members or other caregivers can have a break. Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance might cover some of the costs of medical care.

Non-Medical Subsidized Senior Housing: There are state and federal programs available to help with paying for housing for seniors who have low or moderate incomes. Some subsidized facilities offer help to people who need assistance with specific tasks like laundry or shopping. People commonly live independently in an apartment located in a senior housing complex.

Non-Medical Assisted Living: For people who need help with only a few tasks like cooking or laundry, or with reminders to take medications, assisted living facilities might be worth consideration. The term, 'Assisted Living,' is used to mean living arrangements where some services are available to people who still live independently in an assisted living complex. Most of the time, people who reside in assisted living pay monthly rent as well as any additional fees for services they need.

Board and Care Homes: Board and Care homes are group living arrangements that are designed to meet the needs of people who are unable to live independently, yet do not need the services provided by a nursing home. The homes provide a broader range of services than options related to independent living. The majority of these homes assist with some of the activities of daily living such as bathing, eating, toileting, and walking. Sometimes, medical assistance programs and private long-term care insurance will help to pay for Board and Care homes. Bear in mind that many of these homes do not receive payment from either Medicare or Medicaid, and are not monitored very strictly.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCS): CCRC's are housing communities where different levels of care are provided depending upon the person's needs. The services range from independent living apartments all the way through skilled nursing care in a nursing home that is affiliated. People move from one form of service to another depending on their needs at the time, although they remain a part of the community.

When thinking about a CCRC, make sure you examine the record of its nursing home. The contact you have through the CCRC will usually require you to use it. A number of CCRC's require a large payment before a person can be admitted, as well as fees on a monthly basis. Because of this, many CCRC's are too expensive for seniors and people with disabilities who have low or moderate incomes.

Related Information:

  1. Fair Housing Act - The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, and national origin.
  2. Disability Housing and Home Loans for Americans with Disability - List of home loan providers in the US states who lend money for home purchases and housing down payment loans to people with disabilities and low income earners.


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