About the Aging & Medicaid Waiver Programs - Pennsylvania

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Pennsylvania Station Getting On Track with Assisted Living Help / Aging Waiver Programs

Regina Woodard

Summary: An overview of the handful of Medicaid / Assisted Living Waiver programs and services provided by the State of Pennsylvania to help it’s elderly population with care, living solutions and support.

Author: exclusively for Assisted Living Directory

Regina is a regular contributor to Assisted Living Directory

Pennsylvania's Medicaid and Aging Waiver programs

What can be said about the great state of Pennsylvania?

One of the original thirteen American colonies, the state holds a wealth of information about the state itself and that of the United States the iconic Pennsylvania’s Medicaid and Aging Waiver programsLiberty Bell resides in Philadelphia, while several famous people have come from the state, such as Robert Morris, Thomas Paine, and of course Benjamin Franklin.

Pennsylvania has one of the largest populations of elderly and with such a large population, the state has done a lot to address the needs of those individuals who may need help. There are several different options that residents can take when the time comes to look into assisted living facilities, including that of the Aging Waiver Program, the Living Independence for the Elderly, and other Medicaid waivers.

Aging Waiver Program

The aging waiver program provides a long term living solution for older residents of Pennsylvania who would like to stay in their own homes or communities, instead of having to go into a nursing home. The program has the support of the Area of Agency on Aging department, along with staff that regularly assess needs, helps develop appropriate plan of care, assists in selecting medical assistance programs with approved services and providers, as well as monitoring those services.

The waiver allows for various services to be conducted within the home, offering a variety of home health and personal care services, many of which the individual can chose from. Home health and personal care services include home support, attendant and respite care, adult day care, transportation, modifications on the home, specialized medical equipment and supplies, any type of counseling, and others.

To be eligible for the waiver, individuals need to be residents of Pennsylvania, be at least sixty years of age, be clinically and financially eligible for the services, meets the financial requirements, as well as agreeing to the requirements and the responsibilities set by the program.

Living Independence for the Elderly

The living independence for the elderly or LIFE is an another option that also allows for individuals to live independently on their own, but still receive services and support that meet the needs of the individuals. The program is managed and provides a comprehensive all inclusive package of both medical and supportive services and is nationally known as PACE the Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly.

The LIFE program provides services such as adult day health care, audiology, dental, emergency, end of life services, in home supportive, lab and x-ray services, meals, nursing care, and many more. To be eligible for LIFE, individuals must be fifty-five or older, meet the level for skilled nursing or special rehabilitation facilities, meet the financial requirements, and reside in an area that LIFE services.

NHT Program

For individuals who have been resting in a nursing home and would like to move back to their own residence, there’s the Nursing Home Transition or NHT program. The program also helps to rebalance long term living facilities so that individuals have the choice of where they would like to live and receive services; the program also provides the opportunity to fully inform individuals, their families, or their caregivers in regards to long term living options, home and community based services, and providing that information.

The NHT looks to help states like Pennsylvania to enhance the opportunities for individuals to choose the area and residence of their choice, empowering individuals to be involved in possible planning and directing their transition from a nursing home to that of their own residence.

Additional Medicaid Waivers

While the Aging Waiver, LIFE, and NHT programs are choice for those looking for assistance, but there are several other different waivers that can be chosen, such as the OBRA, the Independence, and COMMCARE waiver. All three service those individuals who have some form of disability and to be eligible, individuals must have income or resources that are within the limits of Medicaid, have a disability that is likely to continue throughout life, and be a resident of Pennsylvania.

The OBRA waiver is a program for those with developmental physical disabilities that require intermediate care, with injuries that have resulted in substantial functional limits in three or more life activities, such as self-care, communication, learning, mobility, and more.

The Independence waiver is for adults with severe physical disabilities, which help individuals continue to live in their communities and remain independent.

The COMMCARE waiver is for those individuals who have suffered from traumatic brain injuries and help those individuals remain as independent as possible within the community.

Each waiver, while directed to residents of Pennsylvania, does have certain restrictions within its own program, including being of a certain age above the age of eighteen cannot have mental retardation, have a major mental disorder, and must be eligible for a nursing facility, special rehabilitation, or intermediate care facility.

Pennsylvania not only has a large elderly population, but also strives to provide the services in order to take care of them, while also helping to give that information to individuals and their families. If youre a resident of the state, look into several or all of the programs listed here to see which work for your loved one or yourself.

Further Information

Pennsylvania’s Aging & Medicaid Waivers

Copyright © 2012 by Regina Woodard

Article by Regina Woodard exclusively for Assisted Living Directory

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