What to Expect With Assisted Living for Seniors With Special Medical Needs
Seniors needing daily help can find a new quality of life in assisted living. At BridgeWater Assisted Living, we make it easier for seniors to live independent and active lifestyles. For seniors experiencing special medical conditions, it’s essential to know what to expect and what types of needs can still be cared for in assisted living.
It’s equally important to know what Medicaid assisted living will provide. Here are several medical services that can be covered by Medicaid and provided by assisted living:
An assisted living community is defined by the care it provides its residents. Assisted living is not skilled nursing but does have qualified nurses and medical staff. Assisted living is designed to help residents with the activities of daily living (ADLs). These activities include transferring, walking, dressing, grooming, eating, continence, toileting, and bathing. Whether a person needs assistance with one or more of these activities, all assisted living communities will provide these components of care.
For seniors with limited mobility, this may include assistance with getting to places you want to go, like recreational activities, beauty or barber shop appointments, medical appointments, or day trips and outings. Fitness and mobility activities that are appropriate for your needs are also available.
There’s also peace of mind that someone is always there to help when you need it. Most assisted living communities have some form of 24-hour monitoring system. Whether the mobility issue is temporary or permanent, assisted living communities can provide this support and additional services like physical therapy if needed.
Common Illnesses and Conditions
Most assisted living communities have on-site medical staff that can handle and even treat illnesses. Common illnesses like colds and flu are monitored, and residents are provided with assistance for things like meals brought to rooms if they need to isolate or rest for some time. The caring staff at most assisted living communities can handle anything you could treat at home with a bandaid, ice pack, or over-the-counter medications.
Many assisted living communities also monitor health conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes and assist in medication management, as an ounce of prevention can go a long way. Annual exams, preventative check-ups, and diagnostic exams can all be performed in assisted living communities. Transportation to other medical providers and specialty care is also a part of assisted living support services.
Here at BridgeWater Assisted Living, we use a health monitoring system called CarePredict to ensure our residents stay healthy. CarePredict is a technology that allows our medical staff to monitor each resident and help make adjustments as needed.
Our chef-crafted meals can be tailored to any resident’s dietary needs to ensure they get nourishing and healthy meals for their medical needs. Healthy food and health monitoring are ways that we help our residents stay fit and ready for whatever life adventures await.
Alzheimer’s Disease or Dementia
A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia can be pretty devastating. Assisted living can often be a helpful and surprisingly reassuring solution, especially if there is a memory care option. Several BridgeWater Assisted Living Communities boast an assisted living community and a memory care community, all in one location.
Memory care is a form of long-term specialty care that can be located within assisted living communities but has separate benefits and offerings. There is often a structured approach that gives residents some extra support often needed with conditions like Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. In addition to offering support for daily living activities, memory care provides programs specifically designed for these conditions. Cognitive games, music therapy, health and fitness classes, special dietary adjustments, and resident monitoring are all a part of a good memory care community.
Some conditions, like cancer or kidney disease, might require specialty treatment. While these can’t be treated in an assisted living community, residents can often receive transportation to their medical providers for treatment and receive minor medical support from staff on-site. If the care needed exceeds what an assisted living community can provide, residents would be assisted in transferring to advanced care providers, like a skilled nursing facility or hospital.
Medical Services Covered by Medicaid
Medicaid assisted living typically isn’t something that you can find, as Medicaid does not usually pay for assisted living. Medicaid is a federal and state-funded program. There are some mandatory services that federal law requires, but Medicaid allows states the option of covering others. Some required services include early and periodic screenings, diagnostics, and inpatient and hospital services. However, states can cover things like prescription drugs, medical transportation, and dental services if they choose.
This state-level choice has enabled some states, like Arizona, to create systems that help residents access care and services. The Medicaid system in Arizona is known as the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS). Arizona residents who are over 65 and require additional medical care can apply for health insurance under this system known as the Arizona Long Term Care Services (ALTCS).
In Arizona, the ALTCS covers several medical services that assisted living communities provide. These services include diagnostic exams, medication management, preventative check-ups, physical/occupational/speech therapy, and some personal care services like assistance with activities of daily living. So, all of the supportive services that define “assisted living” are covered under this plan. You can check your state’s health Medicaid site for more information if you live in another state.Here at BridgeWater Assisted Living, we are a Medicaid-certified provider. Our Community Benefits Advocates can help you find out more about your financial options. Reach out to us with any questions, or come enjoy a meal and a tour with us. We’d love to give you a feel for what the BridgeWater lifestyle has to offer.