Staying safe and independent in your home
The unexpected can happen at any time. Life may be going along fine and the next thing you know, you’re in an ambulance being taken to the hospital because you’ve been told you just had a stroke. You are in disbelief and overwhelmed that one side of your body is paralyzed and you cannot move without the use of a wheelchair or walker. Your speech is slurred and you cannot communicate effectively. You are having difficulty processing information because the stroke has caused memory problems.
Or maybe your spouse just received a diagnosis of dementia. You work full time and you worry about her safety, risk of falling, or that she might forget to take her medications while you’re not home.
Or maybe you had cataracts removed to improve your vision, but later in life you were diagnosed with glaucoma and are now legally blind. You are having difficulty navigating in your home because of your vision loss and have fallen several times. You were not able to get back up after one of the falls and needed to drag yourself on the floor to get to the phone to call for assistance.
I want to stay in my home, but daily tasks are becoming more difficult for me. Are there services that can help?
Do you find yourself or a loved one having more difficulty with personal or household tasks? Is it getting harder to prepare meals, clean the tub, or get dressed? Whether you’re facing increasing symptoms, a new diagnosis, or a new stage of life, there are options available.
Services to help you live at home
Services that can help you more easily manage everyday tasks, feel safer living on your own, and help you maintain a higher level of independence are sometimes called “Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)”. Empowerline counselors can help you explore which of these services you may quality for. Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) services like:
- Homemaker: help with light housekeeping or meal prep
- Personal care: help with eating, bathing, grooming and other personal care needs (sometimes called “activities of daily living”)
- Meals delivered to your home
- Transportation to appointments
- Home modification and repair
How do I pay for these services?
If you can afford to pay for these services (called “private pay”), we can help you connect to service options. If you can’t afford to pay, there are HCBS available at low or no cost to you. These are funded through the federal Older Americans Act as well as state and local.
If you have a need for services due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for the CARES Flex Program, which provides a monthly budget for individuals and caregivers for needs such as bathing, dressing, laundry, meals, day programs, assistive technology, and more.
Note some services are limited to individuals over age 60, and, as demand is high and funding is limited, there may be waiting lists for services. Empowerline counselors can help you explore what services might make sense for you when you contact us.
Extra assistance to help you live at home
Maybe your needs are a little more complex. Or maybe a loved one is starting to require an even higher level of assistance. In Georgia, Medicaid waiver programs provide more assistance to people who are low-income and functionally impaired so that they may stay in their homes and communities rather than going to live in a nursing home. The recipient must be Medicaid-eligible to access the Medicaid waiver programs. Depending on the waiver, services can include:
- Adult day health –day programs that are community-based and designed to meet the needs of adults with functional impairments. These programs are structured and comprehensive and provide a variety of health, social, and related support services in supervised, protective settings.
- Emergency response systems: devices that connect you or your loved one to a 24/7 call center in case of an emergency
- Personal support: help with bathing, housekeeping, laundry, grooming, dressing, meal preparation
- Home delivered meals
- Respite: services that allow caregivers to take a break
Some of the specific Medicaid waiver programs for older persons and adults with disabilities in Georgia include:
Georgia’s Elderly & Disabled Waiver Program
- Community Care Services Program (CCSP)—for individuals of any age with disabilities who have the same level of medical, functional, and financial need as would grant them placement in a nursing facility under Medicaid
- Service Options Using Resources in a Community Environment (SOURCE)—for frail older persons and individuals with disabilities
If you speak Korean, this video explains Georgia Medicaid, including the Elderly and Disabled Waiver Program.
- New Options Waiver Program (NOW) and Comprehensive Supports Waiver Program (COMP)
Georgia’s waiver program for people with physical disabilities
Georgia’s waiver program for children