Assisted living facilities in PA refers to assisted living facilities in Pennsylvania. These communities can vary greatly in size, amenities, and cost.
The definition of assisted living facilities in PA has changed over the last few years. It is important to understand these changes so that you can place your loved one in the appropriate living situation.
Assisted Living Facilities in PA: The Past
Assisted living facilities, or assisted living residence’s, were synonymous with personal care homes. Many assisted living facilities in PA were, by legal definition, actually personal care homes. But the management of these personal care homes preferred to call their communities assisted living facilities. This was a branding or marketing decision and, in reality, had little to do with the services offered.
The public perception of personal care homes was closely associated with independent living communities. The thought process is that senior citizens that no longer want to be responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of a primary residence move into a personal care home. Their everyday lives remain basically the same but with a couple exceptions: they no longer need to maintain their home; they live in a community dedicated to people of a similar age; and meals are prepared for them.
In reality, personal care homes did, and still do, offer far greater support. They offer assistance with activities of daily living. These ADL’s can include bathing, dressing, and even transferring. Assisted living facilities in PA offered the same services.
Assisted Living Facilities in PA: The Present
In 2011 licensing regulations in Pennsylvania changed. The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services decided there should be a formal distinction between assisted living facilities and personal care homes.
DHS decided that it was important for Pennsylvania residents to ‘age in place.’ This means that a Pennsylvania resident living in assisted living facility can stay in the same community if their condition worsens. They can remain at the assisted living facility because the staff is properly trained to provide the services required. After the 2011 changes, assisted living facilities in PA must be equipped to provide skilled nursing services to their residents.
Personal care homes, conversely, are officially forbidden from offering this higher level of care. This means that if a resident of a personal care home needs a skilled nursing level of care, they must transfer to a different facility. This transfer can be stressful and expensive. Other differences exist between assisted living facilities in PA and personal care homes. These differences include the size of rooms, differences in shared living spaces, and privacy considerations.
Assisted Living Facilities in PA: The Future
The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services wanted to offer Pennsylvania residents more choices in their living arrangements. Additionally, the Department wanted to redirect public Medicaid benefits from people living in skilled nursing facilities to those living is assisted living facilities.
This change has not yet happened. In Pennsylvania, long term care benefits are available to those living in skilled nursing facilities and those living in their own home. Long term care Medicaid benefits are not offered to assisted living residents.
This should change in the future.
However, in the present, residents of assisted living facilities in PA must still private pay. Given that the cost of assisted living facilities in PA can cost between $3,000 and $6,000, accessing public benefits to pay for care is crucial.
While Pennsylvania Medicaid doesn’t yet cover assisted living communities, VA Aid and Attendance benefits do. Receiving valuable VA benefits can save your family between $1149 and $2120 per month in healthcare costs.
Depending on your health or the health of your family member, now may be the time to take advantage of Medicaid planning solutions that can save families tens of thousands of dollars in medical expenses. Given the nature of Medicaid laws in Pennsylvania, advanced planning may be appropriate to maintain PA Medicaid nursing home eligibility.
Assisted living facilities in PA are appropriate for Pennsylvania residents that require assistance with activities of daily living. Activities of daily living include bathing, dressing, personal hygiene, transferring, and toileting. An assisted living may also be appropriate even if a family doesn’t require this level of care. A person with Alzheimer’s or Dementia may require an assisted living facility even though assistance with ADL’s is not needed.
If you’d like to speak with an attorney about ways to pay for an assisted living facility or plan for Medicaid eligibility (and preserve the family home and estate), contact VA Legal Team today. We offer a free, no hassle consultation.