(Part 3) A Financial Blog Series About Assisted Living Funding Sources, Payment Programs, and Possible Pitfalls

By Theresa Pichelmeyer, Valley VNA President & CEO

 My last two blogs have covered the differences between assisted living and skilled nursing care and how one might pay for assisted living lodging and services. After move-in day, finances will continue to play a pivotal role in your housing options. Just within the field of assisted living communities, there are many different business models and motivations. These motivations are behind the answer to a very important question: “Under what circumstances would I or my loved one be asked to move from my assisted living community?” A non-profit organization like Valley VNA is driven by a different set of values than a for-profit company. For instance:

  • If you (or your loved one exhausted) your financial resources and went on Family Care (Wisconsin’s Medicaid program), would you automatically be asked to move? At Valley VNA, we work collaboratively with families whose loved ones have been paying for their own care for at least two years to keep them in the home they’ve grown to know and love. It’s a balancing act to keep an optimal number of private pay and Family Care residents in a community and be able to operate in a financially sound manner. Based on their business model and mission, some companies are not willing to accept a decrease in their reimbursements. As a result, they do not accept Family Care and these residents can be asked to move.
  • What circumstances of care would cause a resident to need to move? Generally speaking, people with complex medical conditions, people who are a danger to themselves or others, and those who are a very serious flight risk due to Alzheimer’s or dementia cannot be accommodated in an assisted living setting and may do better in a skilled nursing home or an assisted living home that specializes in this type of care. At Valley VNA, each resident’s situation is thoughtfully considered on a case-by-case basis during the assessment process and as conditions change.

Some of my elderly friends tell me, “I never expected to live this long.” They are often thinking of their parents or grandparents—generations who lived in completely different times of work, safety, and health care. The reality is we do live a lot longer, and we squeeze a lot of good life and love out of our years here on earth!

In my last three blogs, I hope I’ve helped clear up some of the financial confusion that surrounds the decision to move to into assisted living. In the meantime, do you have more questions about choosing or planning for assisted living? Call us at (920) 727-5555 and we’ll connect you with a helpful, knowledgeable person to help you navigate the process.