Despite some amazing advances in science and medicine over the past century, a way to stop the natural aging process has yet to be discovered. This means that all of us will eventually succumb to the physical and mental signs of aging. As a result, you will likely reach a point at which you need assistance with even the daily tasks of living. You may also need regular medical care that often requires a patient to be moved to a long-term care facility. If you are like many people, you may wonder “Can I stay in my home if I get sick?” The good news is that more and more people are able to remain in their homes for much longer than they once could thanks to both advances in technology and delivery of care and financial assistance from Medicaid home based care programs.
Traditionally, when an individual reached the point at which regular care was needed it was time to start looking for a nursing home or other long-term care facility. That is slowly changing. In the State of Texas, Medicaid recipients may be eligible for a variety of home and community based programs that allow an elderly individual and/or those who suffer from a physical or mental disability remain in his or her home. In-home and community services for the elderly may include things such as homemaker and personal assistance services, chore maintenance, adult day care, residential repair, health screening, monitoring and maintenance, emergency response, instruction, training, transportation, hospice services and services provided in a senior center.
In addition, for individuals with medical or physical disabilities, in-home and community care services may include adaptive aids and medical supplies, adult foster care, assisted living, dental, emergency response services, financial management services, home delivered meals, minor home modifications, nursing services, occupational therapy, personal assistance services, physical therapy, prescription drugs (if not covered through Medicare), respite services, speech, hearing and language therapy, and transition assistance services.
To qualify for in-home and community based services, however, you must first be eligible for Medicaid. Because the Medicaid program has very low income and asset limits, this can be an issue for many older individuals. The inclusion of Medicaid planning in your estate plan can help ensure that you, or a loved one, will qualify for Medicaid when services are needed. While planning ahead is ideal, it may still be possible to include some Medicaid planning strategies in your estate plan should you (or a loved one) suddenly need to qualify for Medicaid. Consult with your Texas estate planning attorney for specific advice and guidance.