Choices…they are sometimes difficult to make but we’re sure glad when we are offered more than one.
When age robs us of physical strength, balance, quick memory recall, agility and energy and we must turn in our car keys, our choices can feel frustratingly limited.
For individuals receiving Medicaid benefits who have been in a nursing home for at least 90 days, more choices may exist than you are aware of. The New Choices Waiver is a Medicaid program that can provide options beyond staying in a nursing home long term. Individuals may be able move back into the community of their choice with assistance in place to ensure that they can live independently.
Most older adults want to live in their own homes if at all possible. For a person who wants to move out of skilled nursing with the help of the New Choices Waiver, housing options may include living in a private home or apartment, with a loved one, in an assisted living or independent living facility.
The New Choices Waiver offers services to facilitate independent living in the community. Services can include:
Adult Day Care Assistive Technology Devices
Attendant Care Caregiver Training
Case Management Chore Services
Respite Care Homemaker Services
Home Delivered Meals Habilitation Services
Personal Budget Assistance Specialized Medical Equipment
Non-Medical Transportation Medication Assistance Services
Supportive Maintenance Financial Management Services
Consumer Preparation Service Emergency Response Systems
Community Transition Services Adult Residential Services
Environmental Accessibility Adaptations
Case management companies are provided by Medicaid to help make the transition out of a skilled nursing facility a reality. Case managers will work as your advocate to ensure that you find the right housing option and services to ensure that you can live in a safe and fully supported home. To apply for this program, call the New Choices Waiver office at 1-800-662-9651, option 6, or ask your facility social worker or patient advocate about the New Choices Waiver.
If you have lived in an Assisted Living facility for over 12 months and your money is coming to an end, you might also be eligible for this program.
Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by Wendy de la Cruz, SSW. Wendy is a social worker with Advocates for Independence and may be reached at 801-679-6461 or by email