In this post I will highlight Rhode Island’s Medicaid Wavier program and where to learn more about it (and what services and programs may be available so RI’s seniors, and, how to learn about the State’s 20,000 housing units set aside for seniors and those with disabilities).
Rhode Island is a slightly different sort of animal when it comes to assisted living and senior housing for low-income or vulnerable seniors.
* Return to, or visit our Rhode Island assisted living page.
I say that because, as of this time, Rhode Island is one of the few states that does not have a specific “Medicaid Waiver” that is geared towards the elderly. Rhode Island, however, has adopted what’s called a Global Consumer Choice Compact Waiver. The details of this waiver are lengthy, and complicated, but you may be able to receive some assisted living, senior care, and at-home services (according to this pdf about the program provided through the state’s Department of Health and Human Services). There is a list of contacts (and Medicaid contacts) at the DSS here that you can call with questions.
See a very thorough video overview of the Global Waiver (click the image):
However, that doesn’t mean that help is not available. It’s just packaged differently and you have to know where to look, and you may have to do a bit of calling around and research to find out if, and what you might qualify for.
For Low-Income Senior Housing, the State of Rhode Island oversees 20,000 units set aside for low-income seniors, and families and those with disabilities.
You can learn more about it on the Division of Elderly Affairs website.
There will most certainly be eligibility requirements, and possibly a waiting list, but at least it’s a good place to start, and to ask questions about what might be available.
For vulnerable, isolated, or seniors struggling with health or independence issues:
For most states, the first stop that I always recommend that families look into if they need assistance with senior care issues, isolation or need referrals to programs or services that fit their needs, is to get in touch with their Local Area Agency on Aging. Every city, town and rural area of the US is covered by one of these agencies.
However, for Rhode Island, being such a small geographic area, you would want to contact the state’s Division of Elderly Affairs. Here, you can find out more about what what services are available (they offer a very comprehensive .pdf manual/ guide of statewide services, with plenty of phone numbers and direct contacts for questions you might have). The number to call (at the time of this writing) for questions about “Waiver/Medicaid services” is 462-0570.