Our parents raised and supported us our entire lives and it makes sense that during their golden years, you want to return the favor. And what do our parents want as they grow older? They want to stay at home. In fact, according to a recent AARP study, approximately 90% of those 65 and older want to stay in their homes for as long as possible.
In-Home care can be expensive, which often causes children with elderly parents to burn the candle at both ends, trying to maintain a career, their own household, and care for their aging parent. Help would be nice, but sometimes finances simply don’t allow for it. Or, in other situations, staying at home is deemed impossible because a home is not accessible or no longer safe to remain in due to current health conditions.
Instead of going at it alone and trying to juggle everything by yourself or resigning yourself to the fact that you will have to place your elderly parent in a nursing facility, what if you could get free, quality, and compassionate care for your aging parents? Thankfully, the state of Pennsylvania offers Aging Waivers and Options Program to help cover the cost of keeping your aging loved one at home.
What services are available through the Pennsylvania Aging Waiver?
The Home and Community-Based Services Waiver for Individuals Aged 60 and Older is administered by the PA Office of Long-Term Living via the DHS Area Agency on Aging and is designed to help aging seniors stay at home instead of being transferred to a Skilled Nursing Facility. Services available through the Aging Waiver, include:
- Adult Daily Living Services
- Community Transition Services
- Home Health Services
- Meal Preparation or Delivery and Nutritional Consultations
- Non-Medical Transportation Services
- Personal Assistance Services
- Respite Care
- Counseling and Therapeutic Services
- Nursing Services
- Physical Therapy
- Assistive Technology
What are the eligibility requirements for the Pennsylvania Aging Waiver?
To be eligible for the Aging Waiver, you must be a resident of Pennsylvania and a U.S. citizen on qualified non-citizen. In addition, you must have a social security number, be over 60 years of age, and meet the level of care needs for a Skilled Nursing Facility. Finally, you must also meet the financial requirements as specified by the local County Assistance Office.
To see if you are eligible for the Home and Community Based-Services Waiver for Individuals Aged 60 and Older, contact your local County Assistance Office. If you do qualify, VNA Community Services, Inc. is an approved provider for Montgomery and Bucks Counties, which means your services may be covered!
What is the Pennsylvania Options Program?
The Pennsylvania Options Program provides aging residents with in-home care services. While each candidate is assessed and approved for different services according to their needs, services provided through the Pennsylvania Options Program can include a combination of any of the following:
- Adult Day Care
- Companion Care
- Counseling Services
- Home Health Care
- Delivered Meals
- Home Management
- Personal Care
- Personal Assistance Services
- Pest Control and Fumigation
- Personal Emergency Response Services (PERS)
- Respite Care
- Transportation Services
- What are the eligibility requirements for the Pennsylvania Options Program?
The Pennsylvania Options Program beings with a comprehensive assessment of an individual’s physical abilities and health. During the assessment, the care services required and determined and varying funding options are presented based on the applicant’s financial situation. For financial assistance, applicants must be a Pennsylvania resident, 60 years of age or older, and have difficulty with daily functioning. In addition, the individual must present financial income and asset information to determine if, and how much, cost-sharing is available.
For 2019, cost-sharing percentages are as follows:
- Individuals with incomes 133% or less of the Federal Poverty Line (FPL) are not responsible for cost-sharing.
- Single or widowed applications with incomes less than $1,384/month receive services at no cost
- Single or widowed applicants with income between $1,384 and $3,122.50/month are eligible for some level of assistance
- Married couples with incomes up to $1,874/month are eligible for services at no cost
- Married couples with incomes between $1,874 and $4,228/month are eligible for some level of assistance
Applications and assessments for the Pennsylvania Options Program are managed by your local Area Agency on Aging (AAA). You can contact your local AAA to determine if you are eligible.
If you do qualify, VNA Community Services, Inc. is an approved provider for Montgomery and Bucks Counties, which means your services may be covered!
Home Adaptations May Also Be Covered
In some cases, our aging loved ones don’t need too much assistance, but their current home is no longer conducive with their needs. Instead of moving them into an accessible nursing facility, Aging Waiver and Option Program funds may also be available to assist with necessary home adaptations for your aging loved one to remain at home.
That includes accessibility adaptations, equipment, and technology. Some examples of this include installing ramps and railings, widening hallways and doorways, automatic door openers and locks, stair gliders, and handrails and grab bars in the bathroom.
While accessibility is a major factor, sometimes our aging loved ones just need some adaptations to make their home safe. This includes installing intercom systems and speakerphones, light switch adaptations, doorknob extensions, smoke/fire alarm system adaptations, and bathroom adaptations for bathing, showering, toileting, and personal care needs.
In addition to the aging waiver, there are also other PA support services waivers that fund home adaptations. These waivers are all administered by the PA Office of Long-Term Living or the PA Office of Developmental Programs so check for eligibility with the appropriate administrator.
Are there local in-home care providers that offer services through the Aging Waiver and Options Programs?
Yes, there are local in-home care providers that offer services through the Aging Waiver and Options programs. In fact, VNA Community Services, Inc. is an approved provider with Aging and Adult Services in both Montgomery and Bucks Counties. This means the cost of care may be covered through Aging Waiver and Options Programs.
We have over 100 years of experience providing reliable and compassionate in-home care services to seniors and would love to help your aging loved one as well. Contact us today at 215-572-7880 to learn more about no-cost in-home care services through the Aging Waiver or Options Program!
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