Assisted Living Waiver

Assisted Living Waiver Program - 1/28/08

INTRO: It's no secret that assisted living costs lots of money. $3,000 to $4,000 a month is not unusual. What if you could thrive in assisted living but you just can't afford it? A new program, passed just this last summer in Ohio, may be able to help. Here to explain is Deborah Arntz, manager of housing and related services at the Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging.

1. MEDICAID WILL HELP PAY FOR NURSING HOMES, AND PASSPORT WILL PROVIDE SOME FINANCIAL HELP FOR HOME CARE. WHAT ABOUT ASSISTED LIVING?

A. For 14 years, we have tried to get an assisted living waiver program started in Ohio, and it was finally passed in July, 2007.

B. This program is for people who cannot stay home alone any longer, would do better in assisted living than at a nursing home, but cannot afford assisted living. If eligible, these individuals can choose between participating assisted living facilities (8 now, the number is growing) for care.

2. WHO IS ELIGIBLE?

A. There are both medical and financial criteria for eligibility. Medically, the senior must need assistance with two personal care services. These services include help with medication, and hands on assistance with bathing, grooming, food preparation, etc. going to the toilet, etc.

B. Financially the individual must already be enrolled in a home care waiver program, PASSPORT, or must be coming out of a nursing home. (PASSPORT is Ohio's Medicaid waiver program, offering 17 different services to help a senior stay at home. They are given a case manager from PASSPORT, and the program works best when the family is involved in care).

3. WHAT IF YOU'RE ALREADY IN PRIVATE PAY ASSISTED LIVING, BUT ARE RUNNING OUT OF MONEY. ARE YOU ELIGIBLE FOR THIS PROGRAM?

A. This scenario is very commonCassisted living can cost up to $3000-$4000/month. Right now, those in assisted living must leave it and go into a nursing home to be eligible for the waiver program. However, this spring an amendment to the assisted living waiver will change this, and those in assisted living can apply directly. This is a major change!

4. YOU SAID THERE ARE ONLY 8 ASSISTED LIVING FACILITIES IN THIS AREA THAT PARTICIPATE IN MEDICAID. WHERE ARE THEY?

A. Algart is in Cleveland.
The Athenian is in North Royalton
Berea Lake Towers is in Berea
Gateway Family Home is in Euclid
Light of Hearts Villa is in Bedford
The Northwesterly is in Lakewood
Wesleyan Village is in Elyria
And others are joining

5. HOW DO WE APPLY?

A. To apply, call the PASSPORT office at 216-621-0303 and ask for an assessment. We can usually make a determination within 30 days.

CLOSE: If you or a loved one might benefit from this new assisted living waiver program, don't delay. Call PASSPORT today at the number that's next.