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Thread: Dementia care for the elderly.?

  1. #1

    Dementia care for the elderly.?

    Does anyone know what the ruling is regarding elderly patients in dementia care and the necessity for them to be admitted into nursing care. Are there any hard and fast rules to work to within the care home criteria? thank you

  2. #2
    Your question is unclear. Are you asking how to get admitted to a nursing home, or how to qualify for home care?

    I believe if you want to be admitted to a nursing home and have it covered by insurance (Medicare), you must have already been admitted to the hospital for a medical issue that requires at least a 3 day hospital stay. Then you are transferred from the hospital to the nursing home. Otherwise, Medicare wont cover any of the nursing home stay. And if you do go to the nursing home, it is only covered (or partially covered, with a large co-pay) for 100 days. Then you pay for it out of pocket after that. Many people deplete all of their savings once they move to a nursing home. Once you are nearly destitute, then you will apply for Medicaid, which will cover the remainder of your nursing home stay. This is simplified, but it gives you the idea.

    http://www.medicare.gov/Pubs/pdf/10153.pdf

    Home health care for dementia that is covered by Medicare is very limited. Dementia as a diagnosis does not qualify you for ongoing home care. You have to have an acute medical need that requires skilled care. For example, if they just got discharged from the hospital, you might be able to have a few weeks/months of nurse/home care worker to help with any issues relative to the hospitalization, maybe some PT/OT visits and a social worker assessment. But once things stabilize, the home health care usually stop. I'm sure the nurse will post to explain better.

    Does your elderly loved one have a doctor managing their dementia issues? Often those docs work with social workers who are very good about explaining and navigating the options you have to get assistance at home - like a visiting home helper. It is often income based, but some communities have additional resources. It can often be beneficial to meet with an elder care attorney to understand the financial issues. Since most home care will not be covered by insurance for most people, a huge burden falls on families if they want to keep their loved one at home.

    However, your state/city may have programs that try to help families keep their loved ones out of nursing homes. They may provide even more financial assistance for providing home care workers. You need to find someone local to help you step through your options, who knows what is available for your family.

    I strongly recommend looking at the Alzheimer's association website, and find a local chapter near you. Call them, explain your situation and ask how to get some help/advice, and they will direct you.

    http://www.alz.org/

  3. #3
    This forum is primarily for those who have spinal cord injuries and those who care for/about them. You are not going to find an expert on Alzheimer's disease (or any other dementia) here. Suggest you look for other on-line caregivers' groups and resources that do address this topic primarily.

    (KLD)

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